Somewhere in Japan

Dispatch № 113: A Self-Defeating Project and its Reboot

Let’s begin with a question. What happens when you let the aspiration and vision of a project far outstrip the resources you have to give to it? Answer: basically nothing. Nothing, in the sense that you don’t get anything done and the whole thing stalls or fails entirely.

This, friends is what has been happening for the last six months with Somewhere in Japan, as well as the new project A Thousand-Meter Radius. I have come to the realization that the very thing that allowed me to publish more than one hundred posts on the site last year is the same thing that I’ve been neglecting.

Manageability.

Letting what I wanted to do grow beyond what I could actually manage under the circumstances and greater context of my life has meant that, instead of publishing a lot of interesting new things in 2022, I’ve hardly published anything.

This site and the new project remain efforts I truly believe in and have every intention of following through with. However, I have completely dropped the ball in failing to approach it in a manageable. It doesn’t matter how interesting the things things I want to do here are if I don’t make sure it’s something that fits into my life. It needs to be executed on a scale and in a style that I can actually maintain while working a full-time job and trying to change careers within an immigration system that really would prefer immigrants just stay put.

Though I am frustrated with myself for failing to account for this properly, it remains that you can’t fix a problem without first acknowledging it. The nature of the problem is now abundantly clear and can therefore be addressed.

So, where does that leave us? Well, while the long-term I still really wanna do some long-form projects for the site, for now I need to go back to focusing on brevity and quality. Shorter posts and expanding the use of photography as part of what I’m doing here.

Somewhere in Japan is getting a bit of a reboot in that regard, as I return to what was working for me before and rebuild momentum that way. I can either make sure it fits into my life or just let it die. Those are pretty much the only options, and I have no intention of letting this die. I believe in it too much.

Dispatches will be returning, aiming for once a week. And in addition to single images published on the site and on the Instagram, I will be publishing both dispatches and posts for A Thousand-Meter Radius that feature collections of images that explore particular themes, locations, and so-on.

These must be reasonable and fun for me to create or I won’t make them. And they must be worth your time or the project loses its value.

I let the grand things I envisioned for this whole endeavor get in the way of anything happening at all, and for that I apologize.

Stay tuned as I get this engine running again.


Relatedly: I will be rebooting the Somewhere in Japan Patreon shortly, as well as putting up posts relating to the process of my changing careers in Japan on my other blog A New Life in Japan.

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David R Munson

David R Munson

Photographer, essayist, wanderer, weirdo. Everything is interesting if you give it an honest chance to be.

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