It's been a while...again. Over two months to be exact. I know, it isn't Friday but I didn't want to wait any longer. (Mumbles something about schedules.)
I hope you are well and staying safe.
We are in the midst of Lockdown 2.0 here in the UK but you wouldn't think it judging by the amount of traffic on the roads. However, we're still so far from a post-covid world that it's impossible to speculate when things will get back to any semblance of normality. Whatever that normality looks like I hope it is different to pre-covid normal; things need to change, society needs to re-evaluate how it works and for whom.
Anyway, cracking on...
Last time out I said that the plans I had for these letters hadn't happened because I told myself they wouldn't - the voices in my head telling me I'd fail. Having my previous notes app crash and take everything with it really hasn't helped as what I had planned was all contained therein. I may try to rebuild it if I can remember half of what I had but think that may be a lost cause.
So I've changed tack lately, as you may have seen on the blog.
I've been completely rebuilding how things operate:
- the new "digital garden" (a wiki-style system of pages) is up and running which I can use as a second brain/data dump
- posts and media can now be uploaded without having to go to the WordPress back end (ultimately I want to roll out inline editing to all locations)
- I am considering taking the "blank slate" metaphor for each day even further and have already created a version of the Daily page that would accommodate this
As ever, change is difficult & a bit scary. Change means that other things will no longer be compatible. Change means that people may not like the new way. Change means that you might isolate others in an attempt to do something different. I've already made the Daily RSS feed the default but these changes would go even further than that, fully encapsulating the blank slate idea.
The question remains, however, why? Why make all these changes? Why go to all of the effort to completely re-engineer something on top of a system that already works?
Why be different?
There are multiple levels at play. Firstly, I am striving to make the blog as simple to use as possible, from creating new posts or pages to performing edits after the event. WordPress is a fantastically versatile platform but it has moved so far away from its roots as a simple blogging tool that it is bloated and a touch unwieldy for such a task. Removing almost all requirements to interact with wp-admin seemed only natural.
There's also the idea of extending the blog as a personal playground rather than just somewhere to put chronological thoughts. I am starting to view the site as a whole as an extension of the creative process, not just a receptacle for the finished article. I hope that by constructing a more conducive environment I can remove some of the barriers, take inspiration from what I have made possible such that it promotes or suggests ideas instead of getting in the way.
Perhaps that's all a bit fanciful; perhaps, as I have posted, it's just something to hide behind: a surrogate for real work. I hope not. I really want this to be the start of something - it would be a bit of waste otherwise.
It's been a tremendous creative outlet (I'm not finished yet) but I need to do something with it.
I recently recommended "The Story of Philosophy" as a good book to get a grounding on the subject and remembered that I'd never actually gotten all the way through. Is it strange to recommend a book you've not finished?
Consequently, I've been dipping back in on occasion as it is such a well written book that doesn't go out of its way to confuse you with long words.
I didn't remember why I stopped reading it before so looked back to when I first referenced it on the blog. A few days later we went on holiday and I would not have taken it with me but being away from everything and hardly using my phone triggered a change and a depressive episode. I don't think I realised the latter at the time but it became apparent that the change really originated from my overall mental state rather than just a reaction to a week offline.
I didn't post again for ten and a half months!
It's good to be back, on the blog and with the book.
And that's it...
I want to get back to being more regular with these letters again but, as I've said, won't send them out 'just because'. I appreciate you letting me take up space in your inbox and don't want to abuse that.
So, until next time, stay safe and I'll see you on the blog.