A Day

Starting something anew, it’s easy to get entirely too concerned with making the “first” instance somehow special. This often means that I don’t actually start, since I keep waiting for a sufficiently special [thing] to serve as my first [thing]. So it is with rebooting this blog: I’ve been putting it off for awhile via this specific process.

Of course, valuing a first is just as arbitrary as valuing a second, third, or three hundred and fifty-ninth. This is especially true when my whole goal with restarting this blog is to make things more casual, and to put less pressure on myself in terms of demanding some level of Big Thoughts. I also tend to over-compartmentalize in terms of online content; I have multiple blogs under this write.as account, created with the idea of talking about one thing in one, another thing in another, etc. This ended up not working very well, unsurprisingly, as I wasted a significant amount of time trying to figure out which blog/identity a given idea fit with rather than just writing the thing.

There is also the anonymity question. When I first encountered blogging a little more than 20 years ago, I was young enough (17-18) that the idea of sharing anything and everything didn’t really concern me. After all, anyone who would read my blog and connect it to me was someone I’d be telling this stuff to anyway. (I was fortunate to have a very emotionally open friends circle back then.) As I’ve gotten older this has become somewhat less of the case, although it’s less about me and more about not wanting to share other people’s lives. Meanwhile, getting married and starting a family has, of course, meant that others’ lives are much more deeply intertwined with my own.

However, I think most of my hesitation actually comes from the permanence of my decision: once a username is no longer anonymous, there’s no way to change that. I can always disclose my real identity later, but can’t undisclose it once it’s done. At the same time, there’s something to be said for the balance between quasi-anonymity and no anonymity. Still, I basically have to assume that anyone who knows me in real life can/will find this username eventually. Hell, that may not be a bad thing ultimately, and I think putting myself out there a little more will be good for me. My art teacher has encouraged me to start posting to DeviantArt, and while I have an account (same name as this one, and I’ll eventually have a “links” page pinned), I haven’t really felt up to posting anything yet. There’s some self-consciousness, sure, but I’m finding it’s more not wanting to “let go” of anything I’ve drawn so far, since once it’s out there, it’s out there, and no longer fully yours. In his forward to Don Quijote, Miguel de Cervantes talks about his title character as a child of [his] mind, and I think there’s a similar anxiety in terms of the vulnerability one feels on behalf of an artistic creation compared to one’s actual child(ren).

Going forward, I am going to try not to categorize this blog in general. In other words, it’s not a devlog, it’s not a discussion of my drawing progression, it’s not a theology blog. Instead, it’ll be all of those things at various times, plus plenty of other stuff that happens to come into my head. I’m going to shoot for regularity over having some specific focus or even having some super well-developed post. When I first started this blog, my plan was to read through the New Testament and talk about it. I haven’t abandoned this idea, but did go off on another path, as I so often do. The extent to which I stick with any one thing being what it is (or isn’t), trying to narrow my focus leads, as we’ve seen, to less productivity rather than more.

I have a few projects going on right now that I may talk about from time to time. Some will be finished, some won’t, and doubtless more will be added. But every once in awhile, a “status update” will be nice, even if it’s just as a reminder for myself.

Actively Working On

To Start Eventually

I’m sure I’ll come up with plenty of other things too, which will end up in varying stages of “done” over time.

One thing I haven’t mentioned is theology/religion. This is still something that’s important to me and is a big part of my approach to life just in general. But I’m also trying not to think of it as simply one discrete “piece” of my life, rather as something that infuses and underlies my life as a whole. As Khalil Gibran put it in The Prophet:

Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,

And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?

Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?

Who can spread his hours before him, saving, “This for God and this for myself; This for my soul, and this other for my body?”

P.S. If you’ve read this far, thank you! Please drop me a line if you should feel so inclined. I also welcome feedback on my blog design, as it’s a new template that hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet.