Filthy Habits: An Introduction

“Habits in writing as in life are only useful if they are broken as soon as they cease to be advantageous.” — W. Somerset Maugham

Welcome to Filthy Habits (working title, possibly subject to change), which isn’t really a blog and isn’t really a online magazine, and may not even be about literature all the time. But it does reflect the inevitable continuation of this site.

logo.gifWhat you will find here are long-form entries on a wide range of topics: some involving strange journalism, some involving cultural commentary, some involving personal experience, and some involving bizarre satirical exercises. Eventually, the plan here is to offer one new story each day, five days a week. I’ll still be appearing here on a regular basis, writing at least two to three posts a week (and considerably more during the opening weeks). But the difference this time is that this website will also be a place for other writers to offer unusual and idiosyncratic perspectives. This is a place that will retain its whimsical iconoclasm, but the new emphasis involves a more thoughtful approach. We also have editors on board, all kind enough to volunteer their time, who will be helping to shape the pieces that will appear here. Levi Asher, Eric Rosenfield, and Sarah Weinman represent this Grand Army of Associates. (And if you’re interested in writing something here, feel free to drop me a line.)

As things move forward, we’re hoping to offer more than just a site. We’ve been kicking around the idea of a monthly reading series, which would involve this site’s contributors bellowing their work in front of a crowd and maybe carrying forth a discussion on a particular piece in front of an audience. And if you have any ideas, by all means, don’t hesitate to let me know.

The Bat Segundo Show will continue. But in addition to authors, I’m hoping to expand the podcast’s emphasis to other cultural figures who may not be explicitly literary. The radio drama project is still alive, as is the novel I’m working on. (In fact, I have also started writing a bizarre noir tale that is either a novella or a novel.) Written depositories for these ancillary projects will eventually find their way to these pages.

What you won’t find here anymore are link roundups, YouTube links (unless pertinent to a piece), and one sentence throwaway posts. I’m not really sorry about abdicating these elements. There are plenty of other places where you can find that sort of thing.

I’ve made these changes for several reasons:

(1) For a long time, one of my goals for this site was to offer a place where those who are denied or overlooked by the mainstream media could receive the kind of encouragement and editing that they deserve.

(2) The litblog, if this website can still be categorized as one, is here to stay. Thus, the time has come for litbloggers to do more than provide just links and commentary, and to devote their attentions to more original content. As newspaper book review sections are cut and there are less conduits for literature, we have a responsibility to do better and, where necessary, take up the slack.

(3) As my freelancing responsibilities have expanded, I wanted to ensure that I could carry on writing for this website without burning out. This is not to suggest that you’ll be getting day-old leftovers here. I plan to tackle my daily duties with the same gusto as before. But I also required any work committed here to be a tad more ambitious.

I have, for the moment, folded all of the Reluctant pages into this site, which you can revisit through the archives.

This remains very much an intuitive and instinctive experiment: one that I intend to give at least six months. But I do hope you’ll join us for the ride. And thanks, as always, for reading.