It is that time of the year again, when, after a very intense year of writing, yours truly heads off to her native country to enjoy a well-deserved break, as well as lots of excellent food and drink. The year that is about to end has brought a lot of success to Fire of Unknown Origin, though it has also meant a lot of hard work and the inevitable signs of burnout (such as taking an inordinate amount of time to complete a review).
Indeed, I have been feeling uncommonly tired in this final part of 2011, and this has affected my output as a writer. Therefore, I feel the need to apologize to all the people who have sent me promos, and are still waiting for a review. Unfortunately, as hard as I try to keep to a disciplined schedule, in the second half of the year things have gone out of whack because of the accumulation of new releases that have often needed to be fast-tracked.
Even though the frequency of my postings has noticeably lessened in the past five months or so (mainly due to my parallel reviewing duties for DPRP), this seems not to have affected the number of views that my blog has attracted. On the contrary, as to now, the total number of visits for 2011 has reached a rather staggering figure, and the feedback received in terms of comments, subscriptions and links on other sites has been more than flattering.
However, to be perfectly honest, in the past few weeks have often thought of going into hiatus, or even of putting an end to this endeavour altogether. Disillusionment has crept steadily in, both as regards the future of the music and the nature of the people who support it. My three essays concerning the cancellation of NEARfest 2011 and subsequent announcement of NEARFest 2012 in many ways reflect my state of mind – hovering between enthusiasm and weariness, sometimes wondering if it is really worth it. Struggling with some people’s bad manners (manifested in the lack of acknowledgment of reviews that took days to write), as well as the contentious and cliquish nature of the “prog community”, especially here in the US Northeast, can often be disheartening, especially when accompanied by other “real-life” struggles.
In spite of these misgivings, I have decided to purchase my own domain for the next 12 months, and will try to keep Fire of Unknown Origin alive for as long as possible. I hope that, when I come back from my trip, I will feel refreshed and ready to face another year of almost uninterrupted writing. On the other hand, I might decide that it is time for me to devote my time to something else, and limit myself to posting the occasional article when the inspiration strikes.
In either case, I would like to thank all those who have been visiting and supporting this blog for over a year, and have encouraged and motivated me to keep writing. I wish all of you a very happy holiday season, and all the very best for the coming year. May it be as full of great music as 2011 has been so far, and maybe a little less stressful as regards the global situation!