Hi everyone - hope you had a lovely day yesterday whether you were celebrating Christmas or not.
I was planning to take a week off from the blog after Christmas, then resume normal service on the 2nd of January. However, I'm writing this on Boxing Day to let you guys know that The Album Wall's winter hiatus will actually last a little longer than provisionally planned: not only will there be no new posts before the end of December, I won't be posting anything throughout January either.
I've decided to take a full month off in order to recharge my batteries and have a proper think about what I want The Album Wall to be in 2017. The odd holiday aside, I've been publishing three blog posts a week on this website since mid-2013, but I'm worried that my rigid Mon/Wed/Fri schedule has resulted in a lack of focus and left me prioritising quantity over quality. Here's something that's been happening far too often of late: blog day arrives, I realise I haven't picked a topic for today's post, and I end up pumping out a few paragraphs of gushing but ultimately pointless praise for, say, The Soft Bulletin because I happened to listen to it the other day. If you read a post on The Album Wall in 2016, there's a good chance I wrote it at work during the thirty minutes I get for lunch each day; on most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I spend that half-hour break frantically typing up half-formed thoughts about music while also trying to eat a sandwich. It's exhausting, and frankly it too often fails to yield something that's actually worth reading.
Not that I haven't written anything I'm proud of this year. I think my take on Mitski's Puberty 2 and my case for why we still need album reviews are two of the best things I've ever posted on The Album Wall, but they both took longer than a single lunchtime to write. I sometimes like the stuff I hammer out in half an hour - even my most hastily-written analyses are sometimes very well-received, and blogging on a strict time limit occasionally produces great spur-of-the-moment insights that wouldn't have occurred to me under less pressure - but I feel that The Album Wall's overall quality would be higher if I allowed myself more time per post. I also feel that this blog would be a more compelling read if I could be a little more consistent in what I put out: my current output is just a mish-mash of new album reviews, old album revisits, shallow dives, lukewarm takes, half-formed thinkpieces, and junky lists, with the odd interview or guest post thrown in to spice things up.
So I won't be blogging in January 2017 - instead I'll be taking a step back, formulating some new ideas, and trying to identify exactly what I want to do with this blog going forward. The Album Wall will return in February - of course, if you have any feedback for me in the meantime, your input would be very much appreciated. What do you like about The Album Wall? What do you want me to keep doing? Is there something you'd like to see more of? Or less of? What sort of thing interests you the most? Do you prefer reading about new albums you've never heard of before, or gaining a fresh perspective on old favourites? Do you want more interviews with artists, or would you prefer me to take a more personal angle and write about my tame little life as well as the music I'm listening to?
Any and all feedback is welcome - leave a comment below or tell me what you think on Twitter. Thanks for reading The Album Wall, and have a very happy new year.