This month, Joe Nolan’s Insomnia is celebrating an important anniversary. In May of 2004, I opened up a Blogger account and started writing this illuminated scroll. Blogging was just becoming mainstream at that time and everybody was doing it.
I didn’t really have a subject in mind for Insomnia, I just wanted to share thoughts about culture and present them in a formal context. Little did I know that as I began to create the beast, the beast would begin to re-create me.
As soon as I started writing posts I ran into a problem: I wanted to write 1000 words about a film I’d just seen. I wanted to write a four-volume tome on the folk legends of European werewolves. I wanted to write a stone age grimoire based on the mythology of the Flintstones.
Having been a writing student in college, and penning for an alternative paper during that same time, I realized I needed to pitch myself as a freelance writer so I could afford to write at length about the things that interested me. I also realized that the blog posts had to be as short as they were compelling. It’s because of this blog that I’m currently spending most of my time creating articles, profiles, columns and criticism for a number of publications and sites I couldn’t be more grateful for its lessons.
As a singer/songwriter, a poet and an on-again-off-again artist in other media, I’ve always watched films, read books, visited galleries and listened to music constantly in an effort to gather more influences and ideas into my own work. The writing that I do on the blog and elsewhere has allowed me to turn that process inside out: Instead of quietly ruminating on all of these impressions, I now synthesize my ideas and attempt to create a dialog here and elsewhere. My aesthetic philosophy has itself become the most recognizable product of my creativity and it’s made me a better writer and a better artist.
In 2009, the blog extended its reach into podcasting with the “Insomnia” segments on the Disinformation World News. The popularity of that show and those segments now finds me hosting the Coincidence Control Network podcast which is pushing 70 episodes at over 1 million downloads and counting.
I want take this occasion to say thank you to Raymond Wiley, Joe McFall, Austin Gandy, Ken Eakins, Kim Monaghan, Joe Staggs, Aaron Miles and Joseph Matheny for their support, confidence and camaraderie. By asking me to be a part of their projects and allowing Insomnia to syndicate to superstar countercultural blogs like Incunabula, Right Where You Are Sitting Now, Disinformation and Out There Radio they’ve helped to spread Insomnia’s spell. The alternative media always claims to value cooperation over competition, but these folks all walk the walk, and I couldn’t be more pleased to play a part in what they do.
Thanks to everybody who has made this project a part of their own creative consumption. I hope it’s made you think and laugh. I hope it’s made you watch films and listen to records. I hope it’s made you ask new questions and seek new answers. But, most of all, I hope it’s kept you awake.
Here’s to 10 more.