A Belated Year in Review

There was much to be thankful for this past year. Perhaps that’s not a particularly insightful phrase. After all, if a year goes by without those moments of brightness, it’d be an awfully disappointing prospect. Nonetheless, it’s still worth mentioning – if not for the mere fact of its existence than for the diversity of opportunities afforded to me both personally and professionally.

I’ve grappled with how to best organize and prioritize this post. This rumination alone should signal to you the reader that I haven’t been entirely successful in that regard. For my policymaking friends with broad agendas and limited time, I apologize and I hope to continue improving upon it in this new year.

Much of what I did this past year either directly or indirectly involved writing. In addition to continuing my (semi-) regular posts on strategy, books, and technology, I was also given the opportunity to join the Military Writers Guild in the early months of its founding. Thanks to the efforts of individuals like Ty Mayfield and Nate Finney (the full list of people who I should thank will turn up on my #FollowFridays with regular frequency), our organization has grown to over 100 members in the past year. What’s more, we’ve become a diverse set of individuals with an equal appreciation for some of the more innovative and insightful schools of thought surrounding the military and national security around the globe. For someone who enjoys listening as much as talking, it’s a privilege to interact with them everyday. Going into 2016, I’m both confident and eager that whatever comes out of the Guild will continue to build upon those qualities that we’ve begun to ingrain.

Looking forward into this next year, I hope to better take advantage of my free time to continue writing. Too many incomplete drafts of works no longer relevant sit in my Google Drive. Even if they’re to remain unpublished, I hope to at least finish those drafts in an effort to better organize thoughts and work on the loquaciousness. I didn’t meet all of the goals I set forth with writing the past year, and for better or worse that only harms me. I also hope to continue giving back in the ways that I can to those who have gotten me to this point and to those around me at a similar point. It’s something I’m reminded of on a regular basis when working with people as great as those mentioned above.

My unabridged draft of this roundup included my more professional efforts and goals, but I’ve left them out for this version. Consider it my resolution to be a better DC resident and only bring up work within the first fifteen minutes of a conversation rather than within fifteen seconds.

Unleash Your Inner Voice – My MWG Interview

While at our inaugural barbeque this Summer, I had the opportunity to sit down with John DeRosa on the tour de force that is his MWG interview series.

The interview covers a number of aspects of my writing style, reading preferences, etc., but one of the main things that I wanted to get across  is the philosophy that writing shouldn’t be limited to what you feel comfortable talking about without fear of being wrong.

This philosophy, that one can write about what they want to know, rather than only what they do know, is an important one to me. Of course, it’s also important to be honest in one’s limitations and true to the reader. I hope that you’ll check out the full interview at our Medium page and please, recommend and share with your friends. I hope you’ll join in on the discussion.

Full Interview

On the Bookshelf: August 2nd Edition

New:

Out of the Mountains
On Such a Full Sea
Horrorstör
On War (New Edition)

Old:

Strategy
Henry Clay: The Essential American
The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century

Completed:

The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security
Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance

The Podcast Quiver: August 2015

The podcast occupies an almost sacred place in my heart. They are the medium of choice on my walks to and from the gym, as well as during the vast majority of my commute.

Podcasts are a great way for individuals, particularly those with limited free time, to get in-depth information about relevant subjects. Additionally, their surge has paved the way for some brilliant production value.

However, most of the time the podcast series on my iPhone are fleeting. Sometimes, they die out naturally as the oftentimes overworked and underthanked hosts move on to other ventures, other times, the material on the shows becomes stale as the founding vision must either be reworked or suffer from repetitive topics. It’s an impressive venture to keep a great and fresh podcast going. For those of them that accomplish it, I salute them. Others not included in this list are Ask Me Another, Science Vs, Word for Word,  and BackStory

The Standbys

Slate Political Gabfest

Hardcore History

Radiolab

99% Invisible

Working

Up and Comers (at least in my app)

The Orbital Mechanics

Whistlestop

The Ethicists

The Freshmen

War College

Actuality

Here Be Monsters

Lore