For whatever irrational reason we become obsessed at this time of year with looking back on the year just passed and with resolving to do better in the year to come. Simply because of the arbitrary choice of a date from which the days of the year begin counting up afresh we all feel the urge to make ‘out with the old and in with the new’ a fixation for a few days before returning to our normal circadian rhythms and taking up once again the habits that were so recently and devoutly foresworn.
The year hasn’t always begun on January 1 as it does now and some say that the current date owes its origins to the Year of the Consulship of Nobilior and Luscus in ancient Rome in the
year 153 BCE when an uprising in the Hispanic Provinces caused the senate to install the new Roman heads of state three and a half months early in order to quell the revolution. Certainly by 43 BCE when Julius Caesar instituted his solar calendar throughout his empire January 1st was well established as the beginning of the new year. The date was shifted very regularly during the Middle Ages and was finally settled on by Pope Gregory when our current calendar with its leap years was introduced in 1582. Even so only a fraction of Europe adopted the new calendar and its New Year’s Day until the 18th century.
Perhaps it is from the name of the first month January itself that we get the urge to vow our fidelity to a new regime and to cast off the deadwood of the old year. January is named for the Roman god Janus (Ianuarius), the god of the doorway, a two faced deity that looked ahead and behind at the same time and who stood sentinel over the passage through the darkest days of the year and who looked forward to the emergence of the light and life of the coming year that was latent
within it. While I was disinclined to write a puerile roundup of my years events the shameless self promoter that resides within cannot bear to pass up such a juicy, apparently tailor made opportunity that is on offer to recap on the high points of my year as a blogger, and an author as well as a freelance writer.
This blog began life as an outlet for my insatiable appetite for writing and so I gave it a tag- blogging about everything. I began by sharing my experience of publishing my first novel Loot but soon developed it into my own personal soap box from which I could pontificate upon the issues of the day that weigh most heavily on my mind at any given time and in 2011 I have given that soap box a good workout. Throughout the year I have posted a number of articles here that I consider being among the best things that I have written so far.
At the beginning of 2011 I was embroiled in the process of publishing my second book, A Comment on the Verses of the Book of the Law, which proved to be a detailed and complicated project which took me away from writing more than I would have liked but after the book was finally completed I published some articles that I had been researching on the whys and wherefores of the Global Financial Crisis of which Printing Money and Where Have All the Good Times Gone were standout pieces for me. On May 9th the book was finally in print and I was looking for a new writing project so, in a largely successful effort to get the words flowing again I took a bite at the WordPress postaday2011 challenge and tried to find a topic and, more importantly, to write something intelligent about it every day. July saw this plan produce quite a number of articles among which True Friends Stab You in the Front, Time and Anything but a Camel were posts that I was particularly happy with and the first of the three has become one of the most popular posts on my site with a few hundred hits since being published.
In August I bit the bullet, as they say here down under, and dived into life as a serious freelance writer. Choosing a career in writing is perhaps not the most fiscally prudent choice but it has been successful enough so far and as my dad told me when I left home- “You only starve to death once.” Maybe old dad’s sage words inspired my muse because the coming months saw a veritable deluge of posts on all manner of topics as the research that I do for my freelancing overlords crept into my subject matter and reinforced the direction that I was already headed in. I wrote Spiderbots are Crawling Through My Relationships after being inspired by the wonders of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and went on banging the fiat money drum with A License to Print Money. As always my interest in all things magickal and witchy inspired some controversial posts and Thelemites and Crowleyanity, Wicca’s Relevance to Thelema and Which Witch is Which explored contemporary occultural Western spirituality and questioned the importance of the Great Beast to his own religion while hinting at what I think is to come.
By the last quarter of 2011 the words were flowing in torrents and I wrote several articles that I really like and which take a swipe at some of the days’ current events. Tax: Now with 10% More Carbon, The Warm Fuzzy Feeling of a Pointless Occupation and Occupy Wall Street- Now 99% More Chaotic looked at the feel good issues of the time without the rose colored glasses, while I continued to question the motivation of the Australian Government (a popular theme) with Uranium is a Many Splendored Thing for Julia and Julia’s Speech. I can’t really take any of the material machinations of our elected leaders too seriously for too long and I have ended the year out with an exploration of New Age Spiritual Eclecticism, questioned the real value of religious icons in Brand Name Gods and gave an account of An Evening with Lady Elizabeth Rose who, unlike another public figure in the witchy world whose level of enlightenment was clear to all in The Mindless Monologues of Madam S, turned out to be a truly delightful and magickal personality. Of course I couldn’t look forward to 2012 without examining the various scenarios by which the world is going to end and as there is no better source of conspiracy theories and Armageddon announcements than the internet the Half Past Human report made an interesting and perhaps prophetic post on the Shape of Things to come.
Earlier in the month when I was obsessing over my blog site statistics I realized that I had written quite a lot of stuff that was too good to be buried in the archives of my blog and which could be used to reach an even bigger audience so I took my posts to Smashwords and produced the first volume of collected blog posts called Give Us This Day Our Daily Blog and which has since been accepted into Smashwords’ premium catalogue where it is doing much better than I expected it to. Hopefully December 2012 will see me publishing Volume 2.
Looking ahead I still feel no need to sully my page with vain resolutions for the New Year- there is no need. I already know what I am doing in the year ahead as I intend to publish three or four more books, write forty or fifty blog articles and make enough money writing freelance to pay the bills while continuing on with life’s great adventure. So unless the sun stops in the sky when the Mayan Calendar runs out, or the aliens come and usher in the zombie apocalypse, 2012 is set to be a big year for me. Watch this space.