I’ve gotten so used to seeing the blog in dark mode that it always comes as a shock when it’s not. I also had to re-theme the wp-login page. I just HAD to.
Liked: Rebecca Toh – The Old Internet…
“…for now we can take back the internet by going back to creating our own websites and blogs and even newsletters and relying less, far less, on the cursed social networks.”
Two consecutive nights could not be more contrasting; from sleeping like the proverbial log to spending hours laying in the darkness becoming ever more frustrated. From espousing the virtues of an orthopaedic pillow to almost throwing it across the room in a fit of rage.
Over the past few weeks I have been finding it increasingly difficult to sleep properly. Unable to settle, waking multiple times during the night and not being able to get back to sleep for ages.
The renewed passion for writing has also rekindled a desire to tinker with the workings and code behind the blog, which I wasn’t expecting.
It’s early days but the way I write has already started to change. I’m not just going from beginning to end, writing as though I was typing a finished draft; things are being noted as they come to me, a mixed up selection of thoughts and ideas requiring me to flick back and forth when I come to put it all together.
While searching for something on my Mac I came across the exported copies of old my posts from Medium – the ones solely posted there and not cross-posted from the blog. Looking through I felt there were a couple that warranted re-airing.
Earlier this week I updated the blog to PHP 7.3 which broke a few things due to some slight language changes. While fixing these (everything should now be back to normal) I took the opportunity to add the Read webmention type to my custom comment walker so they show correctly and not as a normal comment.
Switching to writing everything by hand has not so much been a revelation (what I do and how I do it haven’t really changed… yet) but it has certainly been invigorating.
A bounteous haul of books for January; mostly second hand but that just means pre-loved.
A number of years ago I experienced months of health problems and was tested for, among other things, Crohn’s disease – a type of inflammatory bowel condition – but ended up being diagnosed with IBS. It was a generic diagnosis with no further attempt to determine causes or triggers. I have had varying levels of problems with it ever since, sometimes food related, others brought on by stress.
Two quotes which seemingly appear at odds:
The Tao of Pooh –
“Let’s say you get an idea… Where does it come from? From this something, which came from that something. If you are able to trace it all the way back to its source, you will discover that it came from Nothing. And chances are, the greater the idea, the more directly it came from there.”
I woke way too early so lulled myself back to sleep with an extended loop of Stone in Focus by Aphex Twin downloaded from YouTube.
I almost always sleep with the bedroom window open so the music blended perfectly with pre-dawn birdsong and the occasional whisper of car tires on a distant road for a perfect outside-in experience.
Today, I started and finished “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon which I received as a Christmas present. In it, Kleon advocates keeping a daily log.
This has also been mentioned by my good friend Patrick Rhone:
Nicholas Bate says to choose a word for 2020:
Whiteboard it. Write it every day on your planner, put the word on a handful of 3 by 5 cards and place them in strategic places as an ever-present reminder.
Patience. A reminder from on this day.
I want to get to a point where I no longer use the #bypen tag on posts. It’s historically been the exception rather than the rule that things have been written by hand but that is something I plan to remedy. I suppose I’ve already started.
Writing by hand necessarily introduces an additional editing and review phase that wasn’t there before.
When typing posts from scratch I would really only be performing a final check for grammar and errors whereas transcribing from paper to screen forces me to re-read and re-evaluate what I have written.
I don’t know if it’s just the Field Notes notebooks or whether they’ve triggered a change in mindset but, whenever I have one available, I always start writing there rather than on my phone.
Over the years I have both called myself a writer and chastised myself over the very same description. Imposter syndrome has been in full effect.
But, what is a writer? Is it purely semantic? It doesn’t help that there are various definitions.