Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back to blogging, for now

I have returned from my trip to western Japan (Ehime and Hiroshima prefectures).

Like m'colleague at Shisaku, I climbed a mountain — Ishizuchi, which at 1982m is not nearly as impressive as MTC's hike up Kitadake. (Apparently bloggers on holiday flee to mountains.)

In any case, returning to the blog after a week away is as good an opportunity as any to provide an update on the future of Observing Japan.

As some of you know, my life as a full-time freelance writer and blogger is coming to an end. From September, I will be reinstitutionalized into higher education, beginning my Ph.D. in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The life of a graduate student will not allow the kind of blogging I have done to this point. I am resigned to the fact that from September I will be unable to write as often or as much as I have to date. In the nearly two years that I have worked on this blog, I have found blogging to be an incredibly useful activity for gathering my thoughts, and, more recently, exploring ideas in a rough form before turning them into more polished articles. In short, I am reluctant to abandon it completely. I am entertaining ideas for making it into a group blog or moving my writing to a new site, but for now, I will keep Observing Japan, albeit with lower volume. The frequency of posts will likely drop to one or two a week at best.

I will continue blogging regularly during the remainder of my time in Japan (now just over a week) and throughout August, although I may find it hard to write as often as I move to Cambridge.

Thanks for your readership, your comments, your emails, and for bearing with me during this transition.


Janne Morén said...

This beginning series on blogging as an academic might be of interest.

For my part, I've found blogging to be a good safety valve; something to do that gets my mind off my research. It's probably a good idea to keep at it if at a lower volume.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear these news. Your blog helped me to graduate Japanese Science at University with A+, just to let you know. And I never stopped being interested / fascinated about Japan and it's politics through your help. I found your blog as the most professional and well-written in the net and I can only encourage you to keep up your good work, even if it is in another form or on another page or whatever. greetings from germany!

MTC said...

Ishizuchi is a fabulously dangerous mountain. I loved the trip I made there - especially having to borrow the vaccuum cleaner to suck all the bedbugs out of the piles of futons at the yamagoya/ryokan at which I was staying.

LD said...

Good luck at MIT.