Finding the reasonComments

Patrick Rhone linked to a piece by Sarah K Peck on "silence, stillness and community" and I was so taken with it that I started to digest more of her blog.

In her previous post she writes about finding "something that turned my mind upside down."

Through detailing what it was that moved her so she became the catalyst for my own "something."

Consider this:

"It’s a relationship with the work that allows for the mystery to stay in the process. For the tantalizing feeling of not knowing, for the delight in the exploration."

And I realised where I've been going wrong. It cemented something in my mind that I've been skirting around but not fully grasping.

Sarah quotes that when we force ourselves into a routine the "discipline itself, not the creative outflow, becomes the point."

Yes, we need discipline to achieve our goals but forcing it upon ourselves above all else can be detrimental; we can end up resenting it and our work suffers as a consequence.

When I remarked that posting every day wasn't for everyone I didn't go far enough but Sarah's words hammered the point home.

There has to be a reason for showing up beyond doing so just to keep a streak going.

We need the mystery.

We don't need to gamify our lives in order to feel a sense of accomplishment; we need to reconnect with that delight, with the thrill of exploration when charting an uncertain course.

We need to spark the fires of curiosity and adventure, even in the mundane or routine, because there is a purpose for doing it.

If the only reason we can find is "because it must be done" then maybe we are on the wrong path and can no longer hear our inner-self shouting and screaming about its passions.

We must reconnect with that voice as, only then, will we remember why we do any of this at all.

#bypen

Finding the reason

Self portraitsComments

I’ve been listening to a podcast conversation between James Shelley and Patrick Rhone in which they discuss Patrick’s decision to go ”nonline” - defined as:

”No longer found on, made available to, or primarily accessed or contacted through the Internet.”

It doesn’t equate to offline, which implies someone has disconnected completely, just that they won’t be leaving physical traces, such as tweets or blog posts, or engaging in online conversations. A “read only mode” is the great way it’s described.

Patrick explains how he misses the early days of social when status updates meant status updates, they were about what you were doing, where you were - even the clichéd “what you had for lunch” posts.

The argument is that these, as boring or banal as they might seem, are an insight into you as a person and what’s going on in your life. Not retweets of what someone else is doing or saying.

Interestingly, journalling has taken over for him - the analog equivalent of these old status updates - and I can see the obvious extension from one to the other.

Patrick talks of the importance of looking back in order to reflect and remember, something we don’t do on social networks and rarely do, in any proper sense, on blogs.

I always refer to my blog as an ongoing conversation with myself so am often referencing old posts but usually as evidence to back up what I’m currently thinking.

Is that always the most constructive thing?

What I have been doing, however, is going back through the write365 project posts 1 on a regular basis to see what I was saying as they were often intensely personal and reflected my state of mind at the time.

And I think it all ties in with my struggle over pen and paper - not just what I’m writing but how.

While flicking through some of those old posts (they were all written offline and saved to Dropbox) I came across one called “Self portraits” in which I wrote that we...

”are telling our stories day by day here on social networks. The difference is most don't actually realise what we are doing or understand the potential significance of it...”

”We paint a self portrait over the course of months, years...”

and that...

”Our self portraits can only be judged on the paint we have used, the brush strokes and techniques employed, the settings we have placed ourselves in and, ultimately, whether we have signed our work. So, what story do we want to tell? What impression do we want to give?”

Listening to James and Patrick immediately connected, reaffirming the idea that a big problem online is that we are frequently telling the wrong stories.

We can tell the stories we think other people want to hear. We can tell skewed stories as we are often not truly honest with ourselves. We tell other people’s stories rather than our own, without comment, without opinion.

What use are the wrong stories and are we doing ourselves a disservice by telling them?

It’s something I’ve been conscious of for some time but only recently decided to really take proper action on.

I’m tired of telling the wrong story.


  1. The write365 project was my take on writing something, anything, every day for a year. I aimed for an average of 300 words but with no restrictions on what it was about. This was conducted on Google Plus so is no longer available online as I deleted my account. 
Self portraits

So, I received an email inviting me to join the Medium Partner Program and get paid for what I publish. It's because I was there at the beginning in 2012 but the email also says: "and you're still writing today..."

Yes, I'm still writing but not on Medium; my last cross-posted piece was back in May.

I'm not reading anything into it, they've likely invited a lot of the early adopters just to get a broader spectrum of writers and articles. In fact, it's quite the opposite - if they'd seen my posting habits and read anything I've recently written about Medium they'd likely never consider me for the program.

Take this statement from Ev Williams during an interview:

"We have a ton of writers on Medium, and the majority of them aren’t really our target for our partner program. We don’t want to suggest that everybody who writes should get paid or try to get paid."

That I've got an email just makes it feel like I'm a statistic, nothing more then the result of an automated date check.

And that's not how to build trust in something you're trying to build.

Regardless, I've not posted anything exclusive to Medium - barring comments - for ages; I believe in everything being available openly, for free. If it's all on my blog first why do I then want to cross-post it behind a paywall, and why would anyone choose to pay to read it there?

Status

Making the switchComments

The Soulmen announced yesterday that they were switching to a subscription only model for one of my favourite apps: Ulysses.

From what I've seen the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

Subscriptions are de rigueur for services but I have been largely dubious about them for software.

Max Seelemen wrote a very thorough and thought-provoking piece on Medium giving a good background into the decision for them to make the switch. He puts forward a very compelling argument.

He writes that the notion of a one-time purchase is a hangover from the days when you bought software in a box; he's right!

The way software is developed, distributed and updated has changed dramatically and the business models attached to it need to adapt to those changes.

Having previously bought the app for iOS (and struggling with that decision) I never felt that I could justify the significantly higher cost to re-purchase it on the Mac, based on my usage.

A low monthly cost (covering all my Apple devices in one subscription) removes that initial barrier and makes the app far more affordable.

So, last night, I made the switch, downloaded the new version from the App Store (on both the iPhone and MacBook) and immediately set up my subscription.

Making the switch

Blogging in 2017Comments

Having read a number of posts recently about people's experiences rediscovering blogging, and others questioning whether blogging was still a valid exercise in 2017, I thought it would be a good idea to re-examine why I do this.

My own rediscovery period was last year. I was still writing but not truly blogging - it was elsewhere, not here on my own site, and I realised that needed to change.

I blog now, just as I have always done, to get thoughts and ideas from my head to the page. Ideas are special, ideas are the lifeblood of our existence and need to be shared.

Even if no one reads them, putting them on the page gives them a validity that just having them in your head can't match. They are shared for the record and for posterity rather than being ignored and forgotten.

Accountable

When I started the Write365 project on Google+ in 2014 I said that just writing every day wasn't enough, it had to be done in public to hold me accountable.

It's the same now.

Sharing ideas with a prospective audience opens them up to examination, makes you question them in your own mind and establish a degree of clarity before committing them to the page.

Writing something publicly means (at least should mean) that you are willing to stand behind it, willing to explain or defend it, and even willing to be challenged on it and review your position should that challenge be persuasive.

Blogging is absolutely still valid, probably even more so, now that so much of what is published to the web is to social properties where it is gone in seconds - if we ever see it at all.

Does it matter what you post or how long it is? No.

Does it matter that 'social' has fundamentally altered blogging? Definitely not.

What matters is that ideas get posted, regardless of length or format, so that they can be shared, explored and built upon.

Blogging in 2017

Sonant Thoughts – Episode 27: Filler Or Process


When is writing about writing a cop out, just filler content, or when is it part of the process itself? Should we always be seeking to impart a message?

Personal blogs in particular are a journey, an ongoing story, where the examination of process is just as valid as any other type of content.

Links:

Content creation


Subscribe: via RSS or iTunes

Sonant Thoughts

Sonant Thoughts – Episode 27: Filler Or Process

Writing in clusters

I have written before about having small ideas rather than big ones - unable to take them beyond a certain point - but it goes deeper than just being impatient to get my thoughts out.

I seem to share my comments in clusters.

I tend not to put out a single post on something but a number; a series of connected, progressive thoughts with the ideas (often contradictory) morphing as they go.

The process is visible.

Sometimes that can be seen within a single post, its trajectory changing as I work through a topic. Very much a case of thinking out loud or, rather, on the page.

Then, after reaching what amounts to a conclusion, the subject is put to one side, exhausted, leaving the appearance of a brief obsession.

It's just the way I work.

Writing in clusters

The gap between the extremesComments

Dave Winer's post "I want my old blog back" throws up some interesting questions.

He discusses how his blog used to look before succumbing to the lure of Twitter which became the de facto home of short status-like posts for many of us.

With the launch of Micro.blog, especially the self-hosting option, we can reclaim the micropost for our own and, should we desire, list them right alongside our long form pieces.

But there are problems.

As Dave says: "everything needed a title to make Google Reader happy"

I enjoyed using Google Reader and was sad to see it shut down but, while it did a lot to popularise RSS and therefore consumption of blogs, it also did its fair share of harm.

Insistence on post titles among that.

Manton Reece, creator of Micro.blog, continues this complaint. The service wants your self-hosted micropost RSS feed to not have individual item titles (my custom feed doesn't even include the field) although it will treat just the date as though it were an empty title.

Status updates on Twitter and Facebook don't have titles, they don't need them. By not wanting titles in feeds powering Micro.blog Manton hopes to force more RSS readers to properly support them rather than duplicating the content.

It is not a difficult concept but most RSS readers have taken their lead directly from Google Reader and insist on titles.

Things need to be more flexible.

The middle ground

But it's not just microposts that suffer. As Dave continues:

There was a gap, items that were longer than 140, or had multiple links, but were too short to get a title. There was no place for them.

And he's absolutely right.

While blog themes will generally hide titles for status posts (if they have them) there is nothing to cater for the middle ground, those posts in-between. Admittedly, we can do what we like on our blogs using custom themes and CSS but the problem lies not locally but in the distribution and syndication.

The obsession with titles is a limiting factor but one we know is unnecessary due to our addiction to status updates on social networks.

We could put these posts on Facebook but why should we when the idea is to get everything all together on our own sites.

In its attempts to be more social, treating replies as new posts, Medium allows you to publish without titles yet still insists on using the first line as one.

How else?

Is it just logistics? After all, we need a way to reference these posts so how do we do it without a title of some description?

Do we need a better way of displaying and distributing this type of content?

The gap between the extremes

Trying too hard

Stop trying to be profound.

Not everything has to be a great pronouncement.

We can be guilty of trying too hard, I know I can, constantly trying to make a big impression when being honest and natural can make the biggest impression of all.

Perhaps if we say something extraordinary that next post will be the one that blows up, goes viral, rockets us to stardom.

Yes, an individual post can get attention but it's often just luck or timing - the impermanence is crushing. Once the fuss dies down you have to go back to normal and find a way to carry on.

Not every post is going to be that post. Not every post has to contain an earth-shattering revelation.

Forcing profundity begets insincerity.

Trying too hard

A story is only as long as its telling.

Stories are told and then they are done. Some are longer, some are shorter but they are all stories: self contained, self sufficient. Complete.

I like that idea.

It's ironic as I often feel that my thoughts are left unfinished, that they have an unsatisfactory conclusion but, in their own way, this is how those stories were supposed to be told at that time - that was all there was.

Not a word more, not a word less.

A story is only as long as its telling.

Blogging: the long and short of it

Blogging now takes multiple forms but recently feels like it has been co-opted by journalists, despite being subject to editorial constraints, and businesses for "content marketing" - such a horrible term!

Organisations are told their site must have a blog(s) for SEO and engagement even if they serve no real purpose or they haven't actually got anything to say.

Part of the appeal of self-hosted microblogging is that it feels like blogging is being reclaimed for its original intent to share the voice of an individual.

As I wrote before:

It goes beyond the social networked element as it enables me to publish small thoughts that don’t require deep dives and long processes...

Blogging doesn't always have to be in-depth, long form essays; it is an expression of self and this can just as effectively be a paragraph, a sentence or even a single word.

While the Micro.blog platform may be a social network there is no reason why short form posts should be strictly limited to this type of environment.

Effort

The reason many blogs are abandoned is they are a lot of work; they require dedication to turn up and churn out regular posts but why should this be?

The long form post, with its depth and insight, is what's expected of us to impart knowledge and differentiate blogs from our shorter updates on social networks.

Why can't they both be in the same place?

Not everything needs 500 words, intricate explanations, infographics or even a title. Microblog posts can be just as valid and just as personal.

This is the goal of a blog after all.

All posts

With this in mind I have decided to show all posts on the main site, long or micro. The respective RSS feeds will remain separate for logistical purposes but I don't see why all posts should not be viewed together.

They are all part of my expression of self.

Blogging: the long and short of it

Slow writing

I was inspired after being pointed to Mike Caulfield's speech "The Garden and the Stream" and his subsequent work on Wikity and wondered about some kind of self contained wiki-esque setup alongside the blog for research purposes.

He refers to his data collection, linking and iteration process as "slow writing" where ideas build over time using ongoing research to update topics.

I make notes but they are not organised, isolated scraps of information that may have sparked an idea but get lost.

I have tried Spark Files and lists, various methods but the result is invariably the same: the ideas get lost and my enthusiasm for them disappears.

I'm a fast writer.

If I can't get something out in one go that's usually it. Gone. Done. On to the next.

The recent exception being the Zuckerberg manifesto piece which I managed to keep working on for three days! I think the importance of the topic forced me to stay interested.

This is why self-hosted microblogging has been so enticing. It goes beyond the social networked element as it enables me to publish small thoughts that don't require deep dives and long processes but still makes me feel like I'm posting regularly, even if it doesn't appear in my main feed.

To my knowledge no one is currently reading these little missives but that's not actually the point right now.

Notes and research

So, I realise I need a system whereby I can make notes or store research items and they don't get lost. They need to be connected so that I can follow the paths between them and, most importantly, I can create them quickly on my phone.

I have considered wiki plugins for WordPress before but was never sure what I would do with them. A quick search, however, revealed Yada Wiki which creates a custom post type and allows for reasonably easy linking between entries via built in shortcodes.

One box ticked.

After installing it I realised that it exposes the custom post type via Workflow making for simpler posting from mobile.

We could be on to something.

Setting it up

A stream flows by whereas a garden grows around us, blooms. Caulfield explains how a garden allows for unique paths to be walked each time we visit and that there is no one true way to view it.

It is this thought, and its application to information, that influenced me to pursue this project. In doing so I set a few goals and technical objectives.

I wanted to keep it self contained and primarily for my own use. While everything will effectively be publicly accessible (it's just a case of knowing the addresses) I don't want it to be obviously available.

To achieve this I had to ensure a few things were configured:

  • the link to the wiki will only show if logged in as admin - so that's only going to be me - using a quick role check: if ( current_user_can('administrator') )

  • the main site search had to be restricted to just posts so wiki items did not appear while searching from a wiki page would only query the wiki. Rather than calling the default get_search_form() I needed to manually add the form code adding an extra input to determine the search scope:

[code lang=text]
<input name="post_type" type="hidden" value="post" />
or
<input name="post_type" type="hidden" value="yada_wiki" />
[/code]

  • The right version of the search form needs to be called based on where you are on the site and we must consider that the search results page takes you out of context. The above inputs add additional parameters to the URL so it is an easy check:

[code lang=text]
<?php $url = $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']; if ( !is_singular( 'yada_wiki' ) && (strpos($url,'yada_wiki') == false) ) { ?>
[/code]

I duplicated and modified my previous posting Workflow for use with the wiki, opening the entry for further editing such as adding tags and cross-links.

Unfortunately, the custom categories and tags created by the plugin are not available to Workflow so additional manual work is required to complete each entry.

Perhaps this isn't entirely a bad thing.

Ready to go

I feel like I've set up the basis of a very simple but usable framework for logging, keeping and cross referencing information that I may practice slow writing.

I haven't finalised exactly how it will look and how I will use it; I think it will need a reasonable amount of data before this becomes apparent.

I will allow myself to be guided rather than try to impose a potentially limiting process.

Slow writing

Blogs are thrivingComments

If there's one thing that backing the Micro.blog Kickstarter has taught me it's that blogging is really holding its own.

The enthusiasm for self-hosted, independent blogging (beyond microblogging) is amazing and the range of available platforms, from CMS style set-ups to static site generators all of which I was unaware, is diverse.

Jekyll, Blot, Pelican, Kraken, Kirby, the list goes on. There are now so many ways to get your content online with just as many levels of complexity, most of which make my current setup seem ridiculously simple.

Still, it doesn't matter how you post just that you do!

What does matter is finding the best tools that fit the goals, knowledge and experience of the individual.

Some need as frictionless a solution as possible to encourage them to post more frequently while others enjoy a more complicated setup the complexities and challenges of which contribute to their blogging experience.

Although the passion for blogging is evident social networks have still taken most of the attention but self-hosting microblogs could have a dual function.

While the aim is to create a distributed social network, as self-hosting allows for both short and long form posts, those who start with just the former may be encouraged to mix it up and further reinvigorate the blogosphere.

Now there's a word that takes you back!

Blogs are thriving

Pioneer spiritComments

I used to be an early adopter, I was among the first to put my name down for anything.

I joined Twitter early before hardly anyone even knew what it was, or what it could be. I signed up for every clone that came after and virtually every other service that appeared.

I have long abandoned social accounts strewn all across the web because I just had to be there and try "the new thing." Some accounts I've closed but most I've forgotten so, if the service survives, they exist as little forgotten pieces of a fragmented social identity.

Bragging rights

I was a beta tester for anything I could get my hands on, a total geek veering into nerd territory.

I used to think that being at the forefront was an adventure, an opportunity to see and shape the future but, much of the time, it was for the wrong reasons. I wanted to be first to be cool, for bragging rights.

The realisation that I didn't need to be this person, combined with a period of consolidation and stagnation on the social web, meant that I stopped diving headlong into things.

A few products seemed exciting but weren't really sticky for me and the dominance of the major players, gathering data into their silos, meant any new players didn't really stand a chance.

App.net was an attempt at breaking the control of the big social companies but, while it was a very solid product and had massive potential, seemed to come from the wrong place. It was born out of bitterness and resentment of how Twitter had treated the developer community.

It was incredibly capable but became synonymous with its proof of concept app Alpha - an ad free Twitter clone. Most couldn't see beyond this and its closure was, sadly, inevitable.

Is it time?

Now, micro.blog has got me excited again. It takes us back to the roots of the open web, to good old fashioned RSS and hosting our own content.

The pioneer spirit of the old web feels like it's making a comeback.

There may be a frustration at the status quo and the dominance (and long term uncertainty) of the major platforms, but micro.blog strikes me as a genuine attempt to build something that improves and simplifies short form web publishing whilst leaving control in the hands of authors.

Why should it survive when so many others have failed?

Although micro.blog will act like Twitter - there will be an app with a timeline where you follow others, reply and favourite posts - it is not just a social network but an extension of our existing blogs.

Control and ownership are paramount.

Against a backdrop of online abuse and fake news there is a real sea change, a rising swell of distrust. Algorithms are everywhere with their inherent biases and, although they promise to show you more of what you like, it is becoming harder than ever to see what you want.

Compromise

We have traded privacy for convenience but are always going to be on the losing side of that deal while networks rely on advertising and lock-in to survive. Everything on the social web is about compromise.

Medium's recent move may be a step in the right direction but, with a general reluctance to pay for content, there is no guarantee of a new business model succeeding.

App.net may have come too soon, maybe the web wasn't ready, or the environment that spawned it may have been too toxic for it to flourish.

But attitudes are changing. Perhaps the time is right for a new approach and something like micro.blog can succeed.

Things feel different now.

Pioneer spirit

Forgetting

Over time I forget a lot of what I've already written. Although each post will be tempered and coloured by new experiences I don't like to repeat myself without adding extra value or insight.

It frustrates me that I have had thoughts and ideas which haven't sunk in, haven't become part of my conscious reasoning.

Perhaps this is the result of writing when tired, when the subconscious comes to the fore and spews out whatever is held within.

That in itself is no bad thing, the unconscious act of creation is perhaps the most honest, the most insightful, but a lasting conscious memory of it would make it more real.

It's almost like trying to adopt the product of my subconscious as though it was an external influence.

It seems strange to think that I am seeking to internalise something that has already come from inside me.

It is the transition from subconscious to conscious that makes it more valid, to take those crazy thoughts and rationalise them under the scrutiny of my externally projected psyche.

It feels weird when these minipiphanies arise from nowhere, thoughts emerging fully formed as though created by another then handed to you.

They don't feel part of you but are actually part of you in the realest sense; a translation from thought to word to truth.

Aligning the internal mechanisms with the external message.

Based on Write365 - 16th June 2014

Forgetting

Is federated microblogging about to become a reality?

Way back in 2008 Dave Winer wrote "Microblogging should be decentralized" arguing that reliance on a single, for profit platform such as Twitter was a bad idea.

Admittedly, this was against the backdrop of the fail whale but the idea of a federated service seemed sound - the catch would be that Twitter would have to enable it and build the required tools (or allow developers to build them and we all know how that went!)

In 2011 I wrote a post arguing that calls for a federated network were probably unrealistic but I just stumbled across a Kickstarter project that may have changed my mind.

Micro.blog

Manton Reece, a developer and podcaster, is writing a book called "Indie Microblogging" but also developing a new service called, unsurprisingly, micro.blog using RSS to deliver updates.

Micro.blog will be a combination of a paid platform to host microblogs (no advertising here) and a social network allowing you to follow updates from others, reply etc. It will also be open allowing you to connect your own blog rather than relying on the centralised hosting.

Twitter clones and alternatives have come and gone but this is something I would really like to see succeed so I've backed it on Kickstarter.

Why not check it out.

Is federated microblogging about to become a reality?

Obsession and accidental writing goals

Although I have resolved to read more on philosophy this year, which is prompting some posts in examination, I deliberately never pledged to any specific writing goals for 2017.

There are tags and publications on Medium - such as "100 Naked Words" and the "52 Week Writing Challenge" - encouraging people to publish more regularly but I didn't want to commit to anything like this after Write365.

It looks, however, as though I have fallen in without even trying.

I am like a dog with a new toy or, rather, I am the new toy with a dog that grabs me and won't let go until it has exhausted itself or is distracted by something else.

Ideas grip me.

We talk about habit and routine but, often, things are more like an obsession: I become deeply immersed, focused to the point of exclusion until the obsession has run its course.

I will still not commit to these accidental writing goals, even though I am currently surpassing them.

There is no telling how long this current obsession will last.

Obsession and accidental writing goals

On being creative

What is missing? ... The work is quite feasible, and is the only thing in our power. ... Let go of the past. We must only begin. - Epictetus (taken from The Daily Stoic)

How many times have we heard the same sentiment expressed in different ways:

"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great" - Zig Ziglar

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Lao Tzu

"The beginning is the most important part of the work" - Plato

We may have the grandest of ideas but they are all but worthless if we never put them into action.

Pressure

We get hung up on the idea of being creative. We convince ourselves that being creative means that we must produce amazing art or poetry or literature. We put ourselves under undue pressure by only focusing on the result and cannot see how we can achieve it.

Creative is simply defined as:

relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something

Imagination - check, ideas - of course, create - obviously. But look at that last word: something.

It doesn't say that being creative means we have to produce a masterpiece, it just says we have to create.

Something. Anything.

The artist starts with a rough sketch. The poet begins with a thought, feeling or emotion. The author first conceives a character, event or outcome.

Even masterpieces have very humble beginnings, but they must all start somewhere.

It is the very act of creation that is important, the willingness to start even if there is no end in sight. Nine times out of ten this may be a false start - second bang, the gun goes off again and we are pulled back to the beginning.

Fortunately for us we will not be disqualified and can have as many false starts as we need, as many as it takes to get it right and get over the finish line.

We just have to start.

Write365 - 6th August 2014 (updated)

On being creative

Resolutions, meditations and stoicism

I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions; if you're going to do something why wait until 1st January and add the stigma associated with possible failure.

This year, however, I decided that I would read more, especially philosophy which is a long standing but under explored interest.

I have been interested in the Stoics for a number of years having quoted and expanded on the likes of Seneca in the past. When I questioned the validity of my daily posts as a body of work they were compared loosely, and favourably, to Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. Good company to keep.

So it was to my surprise and delight that I came across "The Daily Stoic" by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman (366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living) in a local branch of a chain of book shops. Curiously, it was the only philosophy book in the store and happened to be tucked away in the religion section.

A lucky find.

The book is written as to be consumed in bite sized chunks - one meditation (stoic quote) per day accompanied by a thought or explanation for added context, although there is nothing to stop you from reading it all in one go.

I think that defeats the purpose.

Having one thing to focus on per day, a kind of philosophical devotional, is a great way to step back from the bustle of life and may serve as inspiration for a post - although that won't be every day.

Spirituality

I'm not a religious person but am increasingly spiritual in a non-religious sense. Spirituality may have originated with religion but its meaning and concept has expanded over time.

According to Wikipedia, spirituality:

"aims to recover the original shape of man," oriented at "the image of God"

What is philosophy if it is not trying to establish the original shape of man? With or without the divine.

Resolutions, meditations and stoicism

Self censorshipComments

The words “the unedited voice of a person” as mentioned in the last post always referred to being free from external influence and change, or be "not edited by someone else."

This is a guideline which effectively rules out a lot of news sites and journalists "blogs" from being actual blogs if there is editorial oversight and input beyond the basics like grammar checking.

If it is one person's voice then it is a blog.

But I am guilty of self-censorship and both resent and often regret doing it.

Perhaps, in this way, my voice is being edited in response to external influence. Rather than just posting whatever comes to mind there is an aspect of needing to please the audience, to write something they will want to read in a way they will want to read it.

And that annoys me which is why the words still haunt me even though they are not intended to apply in that way.

Self censorship