exciting times

Hey there

I read a quote recently from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron but these few words caught my attention:

“Leap, and the net will appear.”

Just go for it and trust that it'll all work out. It's certainly a contrast to my default position:

I am painfully aware that I don't embrace change too well, don't seek it out as often as I should, don't put myself in positions where I need to adapt and learn those new processes. Part of it is my own insecurities, my lack of self-confidence, and fear of the unknown.

Well, we have taken a massive leap: we are moving house, city, county. In fact we are moving half a country away, over 250 miles.

And I don't have a new job to go to or any idea if I'll be able to get one. I have to trust that it all works out.

I'm okay for now as we will be working from home until the end of September, and for that it doesn't really matter where home is, but what then? What if I don't have a local job or one that pays enough? What if I can't work from home longer term?

I really am hoping that net appears.

There is equal excitement and nervousness: the former at trying to build the next stage of our lives, the latter at knowing this isn't the best economic environment in which to take such a leap and that I am in a fairly niche position.

Even while taking such a leap, and through what should be an amazing opportunity, I can't seem to look too far beyond the what ifs. The negative ones. But what if I do find a new job? What if we manage to settle in a new area closer to good friends? What if the move reduces transport times, costs and stress? What if we all get to spend more time together as a family in a better place than we are now?

Those are the kind of what ifs I should be concentrating on, the potential benefits. While it is good to be aware of both sides I can't allow myself to focus on what could go wrong; I need to focus my efforts and energy on making things work, on attracting positivity rather than dwelling on negativity.

So, these past two weeks have been frantic and stressful, full of sorting, packing, fretting over contracts, and parting with large sums of money ready for the move on the 11th. Yes, tomorrow! (Based on when this is being sent.)

I've had enough of worrying, it's time to leap.

Reading

I kept seeing references to "The Weblog Handbook" by Rebecca Blood so ordered it out of curiosity.

I don't write with a pencil - meaning I tend not to take notes - but, while reading this in the Kindle app on my phone, I found myself both highlighting many passages and making a few remarks to myself as I went.

Although this was published back in 2002 I found a lot to pique the interest in the first few chapters.

Even when reaching the parts about maintaining a blog (not really needed) there were still good little reminders like "allow yourself the luxury of imperfection" and "if you want to write a compelling weblog, you must write for an audience of one: yourself."

The book is, if nothing else, a good history lesson on the early days of blogs with Blood remarking:

When I think of the classic weblog, I don't think of a short-form diary or a series of stories or short think pieces. I think of the old-style site organised squarely around the link...

Indeed:

The link is the fundamental attribute of the web, and it is the single most important thing that distinguishes weblogging from traditional forms of publishing.

This focus and reliance on links is key; as Blood writes "Weblogs are native to the web". Where other types of online publishing are just attempts to recreate offline sources the blog could only exist on the web. As a format it is not alone in this but from a personal publishing perspective it was unique. Social media has usurped this position to a large degree but the blog still remains as an unrivalled form of personal expression.

Still, we have moved away from her three types of weblog as specific categories: blog (short form journals), notebooks (distinguished from blogs by their longer pieces of focused content), and filters (what we now call link blogs). Blogs tend to be a mixture of all three but, even back in 2002, Blood stated that "most weblogs do not strictly follow the roles" she outlined. I'd call them more functions of a blog rather than specific roles.

Form ever follows function - Louis Henri Sullivan

Conventions arose around the blog - reverse chronological order, sidebars, blogrolls, etc. - but these no longer determine if a particular site is a blog. My own wouldn't count if this were the case.

I'm not yet half way through the book but have found it incredibly thought-provoking and would recommend it to anyone interested in the blog as a form of publishing.

I'll no doubt have more thoughts when I finish it.

And that's it...

The next letter will come from our new home so I'll no doubt have lots to say about the move and everything that goes with it. I'm not sure if I will document my search for a job but you never know.

Until then, take care and stay safe.
Colin.


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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog