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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

March 7th, 2007

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10:42 am - The Wheel of the Year, She is A-Turnin'. . .
Since I put the Wheel of the Year document (WotY) on my CaféPress site in late October of 2005, I've sold 37 copies of it. I made $3.02 off of it before I revised it and published it at cost last July. 15 copies were then sold at no profit to me. I've only once held an actual published copy of WotY, thanks to _crow365__: I don't even own a copy of my own book. It's kinda funny, thinking about how much work I've put into it, and what the return has been.

That return has been amazing.

It's interesting: the monetary return has been so darn low (so low I can't even collect it from CaféPress), but the value I place on the experience and the comments I've gotten back from it has been extremely high. Watching Dedicants use the plan (even if only for a month or two) has been very good, and a fairly solid indication that the program is helpful to at least some people.

My original, stated goal with the WotY was this: "If it helps one person, it will have been worth it."

I think WotY has surpassed that original goal.

The highest validation I got that it was a Good Idea™ was from Ian, who said he saw the next edition of the DP as including the WotY, possibly as an appendix, or even as a "book two". That, of course, was before the newest call for DP revisions* took place.

Now, I'm in an interesting fix. By reformatting the DP into more of a "path" than a "program", WotY faces an uncertain future. I fully support the revisions, but I wonder if there's any room for WotY in that path. More to the point, I wonder if WotY is more problem than solution: it was made unerringly clear that many folks feel we focus too much on "completion", and in my eyes WotY contributes to that.

No one else has worried about this, just me. No one has ever said, "Hey, you know, what you did was great and all, but we're looking to go a different direction." There's no pressure on me to re-think this, to re-work it, or to remove it from circulation.

But over time, if we wish to de-emphasize the idea that the DP is "a program you must complete" instead of "a path you can follow", we're going to have to back off on concentrating on the requirements. WotY, of course, is all about the requirements, and it is a central, driving force in the perception of the DP as a program you need to finish. This, then, puts WotY in a jam.

So now I'm stuck here, looking at nearly two years of WotY circulation, thinking about whether WotY will see another full year of use, wondering if it was worth it to write it and then come to a point where we might scrap it.

And I find myself saying, "Yes, it was."

Who knows, though, what the future holds for the WotY document? I certainly don't, and I'm not making actual plans for it. I'm really just thinking about it, and surprised at how satisfied I am with the six or so months I spent working on WotY, and how obvious it is that no matter what happens, what I decide or what ADF's Council of Lore decides, I'll be very happy with the outcome.

* - FYI: These DP "revisions" don't affect the exit standards, so don't worry about work you're doing somehow becoming obsolete. The booklet is just being cleaned up.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Tonight I Just Need My Guitar", -JB

(26 comments Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 7th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
Maybe put the focus on "if you want to complete the exit requirements, here's a tool to help you do that" or "If you'd like some structure on your path, here's a way to do it." It's been too much of a help to people to just ditch.
[User Picture]
Date:March 7th, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
In general, I actually disagree. The calls for making the DP itself more accessible convinced me that the leadership is seeking ways to break down the idea that we want people to "pass" it. Both you and ardgruntler convinced me that was the direction we needed (and wanted and agreed) to head. And WotY, it appears, will be a barrier to that idea. Time and time again, it was said that we focused too much on the exit standards; WotY is all about those exit standards. The exit standards are mentioned each week, and even in the very first lesson.

You see my quandary: in order to move the direction that the (very vocal) leadership indicates we should, WotY doesn't necessarily fit that picture.

And, honestly, I only know of one person who went through the entire program detailed in WotY. Others start, but few finish or keep up. I think that "too much of a help to people" may actually give it more credit than it deserves. I'm not certain it has truly been helpful to a lot of people.

But that's beside the point. Like I said, no one has mentioned removing it, or getting rid of it, or pressured me to do anything. This post is mostly about random thoughts over time about WotY's future and use.
[User Picture]
Date:March 7th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
Both you and ardgruntler convinced me that was the direction we needed (and wanted and agreed) to head.

That's weird since that's not I was saying at all. I don't have a problem with the DP being called a study program-- in fact, I pointed out repeatedly that I thought it was bizarre that folks were suddenly saying it wasn't. What I was saying that we needed something a bit more clear & basic for folks just coming in, some basic explanations of things. Ian, much as I love him, tends err on the side of being extremely vague which leaves new folks floundering while trying to figure out what they're supposed to be doing.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:March 8th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
It does make a pretty good curriculum, I admit, and for a situation like yours, it's actually (possibly) ideal. I did see you'd bought 10 copies (amusingly, it was right after I updated it and cut profit out entirely because I thought it was getting too expensive at over $10).

It probably won't become unavailable, I don't think. I mean, if nothing else, it's got some adequate uses. I just don't know how it fits, see? That's what this post is about: fitting it into what ADF is doing, where it's going, and what this new Path might mean for our members.

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