Todd Stull asks:
At what point could you foresee ending the Whatever? When you become fabulously rich and (more) famous? When John Cusack rolls up in an airplane on your lawn and bits of the planet are splitting off? Only from your cold dead hands? (Disclaimer: None of these questions are to be taken as if I want any of this to happen.)
The simplest answer to this is that I’ll stop writing here when I become bored with it. This has happened before in the past, and when it has, I have taken time off, anywhere from a week to a month (last year I took off six weeks but that was due to travel and catching up on other projects). Usually taking a little bit of time off solves the problem, but if it ever gets to the point where it doesn’t, and updating Whatever becomes a genuine chore, then it’s likely I would stop.
What I think is more likely, however, is that I wouldn’t stop, in the sense I declare an ending point, chop everything off, take up my bat and ball and go home. It’s rather more likely I would just stop updating regularly. The site would still stand, previous entries would be accessible and everything would be preserved; there’s no sense in taking everything down, and the cost to maintain the site is minimal. It’s just that I would update rarely if at all. I would probably turn off the comments to keep the site from eventually collapsing under the weight of spammage, but that’s it.
I don’t see this happening in a general sense because after coming on a dozen and a half years of writing here I haven’t gotten permanently bored with it yet, and in that dozen and a half years I’ve gone from being just some dude writing on his Web site to being a writer of some reasonable note; which is to say I’ve managed to fit Whatever into my working life so far. If I become more famous, or at least, more busy, and have larger constraints on my time I can see cutting back a bit and updating when time and circumstance allow (see Neil Gaiman’s blog as an example of this). But I really don’t see simply walking away from the site, or just closing it up and leaving a hole on the Internet where it used to be. That seems unnecessary.
An interesting question would be whether Whatever could ever eventually change. If it came to the point where I was so busy (or so uninterested) that I couldn’t reliably update the site, I might consider taking on permanent co-bloggers, or expanding the Big Idea pieces to more days of the week, or something else that would keep the site interesting and worth visiting but wouldn’t need me to be the focus of the site day in and day out. This is an interesting option and one I’ve considered for the long term.
But then again, “long term” seems like a funny way to think of a blog, even one that’s been around for a dozen years, which makes it positively Jurassic in Internet Years. For now, I don’t have any plans for Whatever except to keep doing what I’ve been doing with it — writing about whatever I want, whenever I feel like it. That still interests me.
It’s not too late to ask questions for Reader Request Week — post your questions at this link.