If It’s Broke, Fix It

When I come up with an idea, it’s natural instinct for me to want to push forward with making it a reality but what you have to accept when doing that is that the idea might fall flat on its face; just because it works in my head doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll work in reality. And when that occurs, that’s when the need to fix something – or to remove it entirely – must kick in.

I came up with the idea behind Nolan Letter about eight months ago now and in January, I launched the project saying very openly that I would review how it was going come June and decide what step to take next. To be brutally honest, I knew from the start that taking on this huge project was going to be a risk: the demand for a newsletter filled with essays by people that my followers don’t tend to know is a hard sell and as a result, the project worked to a degree, but then felt limited in its reach. I also began to feel the project’s limits within myself: other than a monthly newsletter filled with words that weren’t my own, what was the project, and why am I dedicating so much time to it?

I eventually came to the realisation that Nolan Letter in its current shape and form is not what I anticipated Nolan Letter to be and as a result, I’ve come to the decision to cease the project through until September to work on some new avenues. At first, the decision – to me – felt like I was giving up; after all I’d put into this project over the past six months or so, it felt like a punch in the stomach to both myself, Maria and the followers and contributors of Nolan Letter to let it go so soon. However, I am determined to find a way to make Nolan Letter the project that it was originally destined to be, so I’ll be going back to the drawing board this summer to work on it.

I decided this was the best idea for the project when I had a think about what would be more embarrassing for myself: to let a project die a slow and visible death as it dwindles in interest and becomes boring, or to get in there quickly and fix it while I still can. At the end of the day, the latter seemed like the best thing to do in this situation and it’s the decision I’ve decided to take.

The thought to stop Nolan Letter for now and see how the idea flourishes was also inspired by the whole shakeup I’m going through in my life right now. When all is said and done, the fact that I am now a school-less adult in the big wide world has meant that my spare time is finite when the work towards my career goals must be put in place, so to put it simply, I don’t have time to trudge on through muddy pastures when it comes to failing projects; they either have to work, or have to go.

In a similar way, I’m shaking up the work I’m doing on this blog and over on Shaun’s Musical Musings as well. When I started the year – launching Nolan Letter and starting work on a new series of Opening DoorsI decided to not implement a blogging structure with myself in fear of not being able to focus on it, but the idea really hasn’t worked in my favour. As a result, SMM has had the least activity on there since it began three years ago and this blog has lost its way more and more as the months have gone on. As a result, I’ve devised a new plan for the sites.

Over on Shaun’s Musical Musings, I really want to get back to writing lengthy history posts, thought pieces and other musings on there like I used to do; I love to write and as I’ll be doing it a lot as part of my future career plan, I want to get back to doing it for fun – publicly – as much as possible; I love writing reviews, but the process can get repetitive and boring after a while, so I’m ready to shake it up. As a result, two posts a week (minimum) will now hit SMM on Tuesdays and Saturdays, so be sure to be following me on Twitter to keep on top of all of that.

As for this blog, I want to focus on writing much more too. As much as I’ve tried to make the space an intermittent personal column blog over the past year, the fact that every post demands to be an ‘update’ essay as opposed to something more light-hearted has stifled my writing style. One of my biggest dreams is to write a weekly column on my perspective on the world in a larger publication, so why can’t I start doing that on here? I want the chance to show off how I can write – how I can be funny and silly and thought-provoking – so that’s exactly what I shall do. Every Thursday evening, a new column will land on here for you all to see. Again, follow on Twitter for more about that.

In other news, Opening Doors will return for a third season this September, as well as the launch of a couple more things that I have in the pipeline.

I am a firm believer in the fact that you have to continually re-evaluate what you’re doing to see if it’s working, be it in your personal life or in your creative one. I looked at what I was putting out into the world right now and the things that I am going to be putting out there in the future and thought “shit, I can’t actually push all of this crap for much longer” and knew that my work needed attention. I was worried at first that I didn’t know what direction this would send me in, but now I know that it’s only going to force me in one direction: forwards.

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