Knowing when to end projects

This interesting observation from Robin Sloan (HT The Convivial Society) left me thinking about the duration of projects:

For my part, re: craft and theory, I think giving a newsletter some temporal boundaries can be healthy and (weirdly?) productive. Start it up, but decide ahead of time when it will end, and call that a “season,” the way I did with my old Primes newsletter. TV tells us: a season can be short, or a season can be long. TV tells us: a season can end and be followed very quickly by a new one, or a season can end and be followed by an interminable multi-year gap.

I’ve often found it hard to do this, in the sense that my default assumption is that a project will run indefinitely. My impression is I’m not unusual in this respect and I suspect it says something interesting about chronoreflexivity. It’s an issue that I’ve never seen raised in familiar guidance about ‘saying no in academic life’ (etc) and I suspect this is a real problem, particularly as digital media means the range of academic projects we engage in becomes more varied.

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