Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Mighty Dozen



For the 12th year in a row now, I am celebrating The Rap Sheet’s birthday. It was on this date, way back in 2006, that I expressed (with some trepidation) my optimism about turning what had been an irregular newsletter for January Magazine into an independent blog. As to The Rap Sheet’s future contents, I wrote:
We’ll limit our tendency to review books here, and concentrate such criticism in the well-trafficked main pages of January Magazine. However, we’ll be taking advantage of this new format to occasionally expand our field of view from books to television and film, since crime fiction isn’t confined to a single modern medium. We’ll also try to keep you apprised of any close encounters we have with members of the crime-writing fraternity, especially if those meetings are (1) educational, (2) humorous in some regard, or (3) lubricated with copious amounts of drinking. Or all of the aforementioned.
When I began The Rap Sheet, after many years of editing magazines and newspapers, I had some pretty ambitious goals for it. Those have since been minimized due to a shortage of free time, an inability to pay others for their contributions to the blog (I have become something of a past master at distributing sincere compliments to freelancers, in lieu of dollars), and the fact that this project is essentially a one-person operation—I don’t have the staff here that used to back me up on monthly or weekly publications, and that occasionally made impossible things possible after all.

Over the last dozen years, I have felt burned out now and then by the work necessary to keep a news-oriented blog like this going, and frustrated at the absence of professional recognition for what The Rap Sheet has accomplished. (Attention seems always to turn toward the newest shiny thing.) Nonetheless, I am singularly proud of the almost 7,100 posts that have appeared on this page, and the more than 5.7 million pageviews it has racked up. Other blogs and Web sites, some of them boasting the monetary and staffing resources this one lacks, have come and gone over the years, but The Rap Sheet is still here. Still very active. Still trying new things. Still interested in the world of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.

I used to wonder how I could possibly keep things going on this page. Now I wonder how I could possibly end what I have begun. While The Rap Sheet has led to my meeting many fascinating authors and given me entrée to a variety of other opportunities—writing for Kirkus Reviews for six years, now penning a column for Down & Out: The Magazine and contributing to CrimeReads—I feel most of the time like a guy in a lonely garret, producing the sorts of things I most want to read and just hoping that others notice. That so many have—and continue to do—has become the best reward of all.

Thanks to everyone for supporting The Rap Sheet all this time.

16 comments:

Chris Aldrich said...

Well done, Jeff! I know full well how much it work it takes to sustain this kind of effort and professional results over a long period of time. I stand in awe!

Chris

pattinase (abbott) said...

Congratulations and many more.

Rick Ollerman said...

The accomplishment is noteworthy. Great job.

Gram Lynch said...

Congratulations on your 12th year. Thanks for all your work.

Gabe said...

Congratulations on another excellent year in the books. Looking forward to many more to come.

Mark Coggins said...

Congratulations, Jeff! It feels like only last year I was getting a Rap Sheet-sponsored press pass for the LA Times Festival of Books and photographing crazy man Ellroy!

Linda L. Richards said...

Has it really been a dozen years, Jeff? We were kids then! Though we are kids still, now.

Well done on all of it. I am proud of my teensy small part. Your acumen and passion have led the way entirely.

Janet Rudolph said...

Congratulations! I love the Rap Sheet! Great job!

David Magayna said...

Great efforts have netted great results, Jeff. Congratulations on twelve years.
Dave

Craig said...

Congrats! I always look forward to what you write. Here's to a couple dozen more b-days -- at least!

Art Taylor said...

Congratulations! We appreciate all your hard work and celebrate all your success!

Robert Haffner said...

Congratulations and thank you for all of your effort.

Brian Busby said...

Congratulations, Jeff. Yours is quite an accomplishment. You have every right to be proud.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Congratulations! And thank you for doing what you do as it is a great service to all.

BVLawson said...

Congrats on your anniversary! I can sympathize with being a one-person band and how lonely things can seem sometimes. But please know there are folks out here who appreciate all that you do. Here's hoping you can keep going for as long as you still enjoy it.

Max Allan Collins said...

Stellar achievement. My favorite blog.