Cue the confetti.
First things first: this past week, Audiologue has reached 30,000 downloads! It's wild thinking back to my original goal of 10 downloads per episode. I only wanted my friends and family to download an episode (not even listen to it!). And here, 30,000 downloads later, I've met so many other incredible people that spurred me on to turn Audiologue into so much more than I had planned.
This is a milestone I never expected and, now that it's here, I'm a bit conflicted.
This was a triumph.
Audiologue has gone far beyond my wildest plans. I wanted to try my hand at podcasting, throw my hat in the ring and see how everything works. I had only ever planned on making the first season. And I liked it so much, I made a second. There was a whole lot of learning during Echo and I think those skills made Vigil even better. And it was fun! Boy, was it fun.
My work got better (or at least I thought so); the quality of each episode improved upon the previous and my stories became more elaborate. I was even nominated for a ParSec Award! But I realized something along the way: I don't have the hustle, not for this anyway.
See, I had that moment with Audiologue (and FORJ) where I sat back, took a month or two, and really thought deeply about what I enjoyed, what I didn't, and what I can deal with. Writing, telling stories, the mythos of being hunkered in the dark over a gleaming screen: I get it. I really enjoy it sometimes. But I also dislike a lot of it. It can be toxic, unhealthy, time-consuming, and sometimes just plain not fun. There are parts of this creation that I know could be doing better. When I started Audiologue, I wanted to tell a story and, lately, it's felt more like creating a delivery mechanism for a story than raw storytelling.
So, I'm folding 'em for now. I've told my story, and I'll continue to find ways to tell stories that I want to tell, but right now, Audiologue isn't it. And that's okay.
I do want to reiterate this though: this project, this 3-year adventure with FORJ and Audiologue: it was a triumph. It succeeded. People listened to and read my things, they shared them with their friends; people laughed and cried. This was real and it was happy and I loved it.
Speaking of which, the reception to Vigil (and hopefully its end) has been incredible. Vigil was a labor of love. It was a painful, tender project that felt true. Echo is a vehicle for jokes and witty human/AI repartee. Vigil is none of that. It's drama through and through.
Echo was a story I wanted to tell; Vigil was my story. A story with quite a few embellishments, extreme scenarios, and creative liberties, but still my story. It was also an experiment to discover what a multi-person Audiologue could look and sound like. Personally, I was a fan.
So thank you, thank you, thank you for loving it. It's a hard listen sometimes, but I'm glad you made it through.
First, the logistics: FORJ.co and the Audiologue RSS feeds will remain active for the foreseeable future so you can read and listen to your heart's content. Chapters of the Canary, the cyberpunk serial I've been writing, will continue to be posted on periodically. The FORJ Edition (a sometimes monthly newsletter) will be shutting down... unless there's something cool to share.
I will always make things; it's in my blood. If there's one thing I want to make sure you carry with you after reading this, it's this: never stop. Pivot, juke, take a leap, but never stop. Movement is good. This certainly isn't the last thing I create and you can bet I'll let you know when something new comes up.
If you're interested in following my next project, follow me on Twitter at @PhilBothun. More news to come soon!