foxwizard hermit seeks muse
on personal blogs, dubious wisdom and moonlight façades
It’s been over 10 months since I last wrote a museletter to you. That’s nearly a year. What happened?
(btw Hi! How are you?)
Whell; I became a hermit, that’s what. Not just in the ‘oh-how-convenient-ur-an-introvert-living-in-literally-the-most-lockdown-city-on-the-planet-lel’ kinda way; but rather in a hermetic mythological and somewhat degenerate kinda way. More on that soon—and of the many fruits found in my absence.
But first, given that I somehow seem to have accrued a lot of new subscribers: welcome! In case you don’t know, or have forgotten: I’m Dr Fox; archwizard of ambiguity (most fantastic). You might have seen me bequeath dubious wisdoms at a conference in the pre-plague times; or mayhaps you enrolled in my mythical ‘ritual of becoming’; or perhaps read my book ‘How to Lead a Quest’. In any event; hello and welcome. I recently updated my main website, should you wish to visit: drjasonfox.com
It’s always quite difficult penning a letter after such a long time. I—like many others—have fallen a little out of love with most newsletters. Or rather; what they have become.
Nadia Eghbal captures the sentiment aptly in this post. At the beginning of the year Robin Rendle also pieced together an elegant rant about how newsletters have become a bit ‘ugh’ whilst at the same time killing the personal blog.
I like personal blogs.
In 2020—as our pandemic unfurled—I invested a heap of time with two designers who both fizzled on me as I attempted to make a personal blog. Then my good friend Kev McGillivray took the time to craft something exquisite for me. And then—despite finally having a gorgeous personal blog—through all of 2021 I have endured a creative malaise, of sorts. (Well, that’s not quite true but you’ll see).
I’ve made several attempts at writing to you; but all of them felt a little contrived, performative, forced or hollow. It beckoned me to question; why am I doing this? And who am I doing this for?
(Hint: I do it because I like it, and I do it for you. And me.)
Part of this curse came from the launch of The ‘Choose One Word’ Ritual of Becoming—my fabled online program to find/fabricate new motivation, meaning and myth in life. People love it—I love it—and I am regularly blown away by the /word pages that folks have chosen for themselves—like Enchantress and Noble, for example. I have literally been stopped by people on the street and on trams to tell me of their Word. (One person shared her Word with me; Romantic, to which she had the accompanying Principle of A Tenderness Despite).
And yet because I have The Ritual as an online course that people can buy—all of my motivations have come into question. Am I writing museletters to position myself to you? To larp myself as some “expert thought leader authority” you should hire? Even though I offer access to The Ritual for free to anyone whose funds are low (no questions asked!)—the whole ‘thought leadership’ game has long bothered me. And the thought of hustling in a pandemic? Bah! Not for me.
So what have I been doing? Well; for a large chunk of the past year I have:
worked with a few multinational leadership teams as an quest advisor and facilitator as they attempt to navigate these (cringe—>) “uncertain times” (I am downplaying this; these were big engagements with my wizard consulting hat on, and one in particular is genuinely exciting—but all are wrapped up in NDAs so hush now)
worked with a few executives anticipating/engineering golden handshakes, who also want to someday consult in the world as some sort of professional wizard (yet can’t stand the default parasitic consulting model and approach)
appeared in many an enterprise as a trickster-wizard summoned to offer thoughtful provocations to evoke new thinking via virtual fireside chats
moped and languished, fervently!
adventured in the dark forests of web3 (more on that below)
But see? I’m doing it again; preening myself before an imagined executive audience. Folks with funds enough to hire a wizard. Even though ’tis the truth, it irks me to write so.
Hence: the (once-again attempted) return of the personal blog
I want to write to you of the wonderful work the dangerlam is doing—like the profoundly eye opening illustrative journalism that went into ‘Working From Home’ (may ở nhà) – a book made by the dangerlam and Emma Do that tells of the overlooked stories of Vietnamese outworkers in the Australian fashion industry. It’s a stunning work of art.
I want to tell you of the Snorri o’Tau—the charming chihuahua puppy that devours all time and cardboard. The puppy who doesn’t understand that her royal πness (our cat π) is not ready to play and no you probably oughtn’t sniff her bum because she will cut you.
I want to write to you of the ridiculously wonderful books I have been reading—like Tamsyn Muir’s science fantasy, The Locked Tomb series (necromancers in space!).
I want to write to you of all the career limiting things I find difficult to say to a list of over 11,000 subscribers. I want to write of the Bad Patterns I see in enterprise leadership that certainly won’t get me hired to speak at events. I want to speak of decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs; collectively owned and governed protocols) that will soon eat the enterprise world, gobbling it up, gloriously.
I want to indulge in petty quibbles, too—like when someone you know and thought better of signs you up to their dud newsletter without your consent. I want to relish in the delight of making low-effort posts, too—sometimes it’s nice to simply share things you like, or that brighten your world a little.
I also want to write to you of my adventures in the dark forest of web3—blockchain, defi, daos, cryptomancy (and more). I have been immersed in a deep and protracted learning binge in this burgeoning domain. Where once your wizard was quite thoroughly despairing of the world and our inability to collectively coordinate amidst complexity (especially in regards to the larger existential threats to our planet, like climate change)—now, somehow, I have found a glimmer of ‘hope’. Or at least; the potential to somehow surmount the game dynamics that have thus far held us back. A hint of the potential of a path betwixt it all. A way revealing itself, and yet still nascent—emergent; wondrous; fraught.
Yet all of these things don’t quite fit into your standard ‘newsletter’.
And so: I invite to visit my personal blog »—> foxwizard.com
‘foxwizard’ is my pseudo-pseudonymous moonlight façade.
The website itself is in its infancy yet—but there are a few posts that might take your fancy.
A Beacon Amidst The Dark—only a fool would carry a lantern into the dark forest
Watch me talk about ‘How to Lead a Quest’ 🔮—a conversation with Aidan McCullen on The Innovation Show
Towards a world more curious and kind—a conversation with Joe Lightfoot on The Lightfoot Podcast.
Thus far; the good vibes of Klima DAO—why I’ve come to admire this potential ‘black hole’ for carbon
I will still write ~monthly-ish museletters to you via this substack—but if you would like to subscribe to my solipsistic bricolage of a ‘personal blog’ you can receive more abundant updates on all sorts of nonsense by subscribing directly at foxwizard.com
Speaking of; I need your help.
This has been ‘The Year of The Hermit’ for me
When not attempting to liberate enterprises from the warped emergent dynamics birthed by the egregore they spawn, I have been adventuring deep in the dark forests of web3. It has, verily, ensnared me like nothing else. So much learning and oh so much screen time. Too much screen time.
And yet my writing, my creative output—it eludes me. Like a will o’ the wisp I see it; yet it remains just out of grasp. And oft leads me down a perilous path.
Being a hermit has been a well needed endeavour for me. The Word (hermit) didn’t come easy to me, as you might recall. This was a little ironic, given that I am meant to be quite decent at this. And when it did emerge the last thing I felt like doing was getting on the socials to somehow promulgate it. My hermitage called me to withdraw from it all; to find some solitude for deeper contemplation.
And yet now the sun is shining and the city I dwell in will soon, at long last, be opening up. It’s time for this hermit to venture back into the world.
I fear I have become something like this fellow here, though.
And so: I could do with your help
Well really, it’s a help-me-help-you thing (wherein the latter part is dubious at best). I seek creative recovery. I yearn to write again, for you—yet all of my writing feels solipsistic and indulgent. My audience? An imagined fancy in an otherwise narcissistic echo-chamber of my own thoughts. It’s time to leave my noöspheric cave. Hermitage is wonderful—but too long as a hermit may turn me into an [even greater] antisocial recluse, disconnected from the world at large. We don’t want that.
So, here’s my devious plan to trick myself into writing more:
‘?’=♥︎ Write to me with a question or conundrum
And I will write back to you.
I have a hidden webpage for this, so that you can do this pseudonymously.
Naturally, I have some caveats and I feel I ought share more context.
One of the newsletters I particularly admire—though never really get around to reading properly (except vicariously via the dangerlam) is the poet Yanyi’s ‘The Reading’. Every so often he writes—with empathy, elegance and depth—in reply to pseudonymous letters received from his subscribers.
I am not going to pretend that I can match that grace; but I do crave sincere questions to which my perspective might at least cock an eyebrow or two. Particularly if my thoughts are relevant to others who might be wondering similarly so.
And so, the roost is open! I have had my seneschal clean it all out, spick and span. Send me your letters—if you are okay with the following caveats.
I am terribly slow at all forms of communication at the best of times; I have hand written (and also hand typed) heartfelt letters to me collecting dust on my desk—watching me, judging me—whilst I anxiously avoid them, forever waiting for the ‘ideal time’ to reply. The chances that I respond to you swiftly are slim; but I do seem to have some vim for this notion right now so—maybe it won’t be too long.
I will publish the pseudonymous letters (and my responses) on my personal blog, similar to how Yanyi does it with The Reading. You need to be okay with having your letter being displayed in this way.
I will prioritise what I perceive to be earnest letters over trolls and mere flights of fancy (though hey, I may entertain them too). I am most excited to hear questions pertaining to quests, decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs), web3, cryptomancy, complexity, mercenary consulting, the ‘speaking industry’, adult development, mythopoetics, ‘leadership’ ~development, the future of [insert], the myriad flavours of existential crises, metamodern wizardry, and more.
I particularly relish in letters where it is clear that there is an opportunity for me to genuinely contribute or assist in some way. I guess what I am trying to say is: I have allergies to the word ‘advice’—but this is potentially like an advice column.
Anyhoo; I am hoping there is some warmth to this pursuit, and that it’s not simply an exercise in intellectual flexing or armchair philosophy. I do enough of this as it is.
I look forward to hearing from you. (｡◕‿◕｡)