I originally planned on updating this website with new posts about twice a month, but that didn’t pan out. Probably for the following reasons:

  • "Originality." Self-imposed burden of needing to make everything I put online “original” or substantial
  • General perfectionism. Agonizing over whether any sentence was the best way to crystallize a particular idea
  • Friction in posting. I made this blog from scratch and add new posts here as Github commits. The workflow is a bit labor-intensive compared to tweeting.

Until I learn enough of backend development that I can make a new CMS-driven blog, I’m probably not going to resolve the last point. But the first two are more addressable with a review of why I started this blog in the first place.

When I first made this site, I found this post by Alexey Guzey especially influential:

Consider a university professor teaching a course. Does she say anything original? Do you think she should cancel her course because somebody else discovered the things she wants to teach? Or does she have to cancel her course simply because there is a similar course at some other university?

Or consider yourself. Do you avoid having conversations with your friends when you think you have nothing original to say? Do you share things with them? Do you give advice? Do you help to understand things?

The general attitude here and in other posts about blogging / writing online encourages a more casual approach—that blogging should be for yourself, and incidentally for others:

[…] worry less about audience and the 'worth' of publishing something – blogging is an act for yourself. you can assume different identities, objectives, and selves at any moment. which one will you take?

  1. a blog doesn't ever have to be finished
  2. a blog doesn't only have to contain your own words
  3. a blog can be ephemeral, you can have several blogs, you can kill many blogs at any time, you can revive it at any time
  4. a blog doesn't have to be consistent – never let this stop you
  5. a blog doesn't have to have any expectations
  6. a blog doesn't have to be chronological - what if you arrange blogs by topic and continuously edit the post? or your setup is 1-3 posts that you persistently make?
  7. a blog doesn't have to be for anyone but yourself, even if it lives publicly – blogging for yourself tends to be the most authentic way to connect to others, anyway

I need to remember why I made a standalone site rather than just using a blogging platform or tweeting more:

  • To exist online, to have a space on the internet that would be entirely my own. Here, I can post public-but-isolated thoughts and have an internet existence away from algorithmic flurries and social comparisons.
  • To engage better with what I consume and to “give back” to the internet. I’m a digital hoarder and constant reader, obsessively documenting and tagging everything. The internet raised me through my teenage years and has had an endless impact on my personality.1

Blogging should be more about earnestness than uniqueness. That probably also goes for posting in general.

  1. I think Tumblr was so influential because, unlike Facebook, it centered self-expression and cultural pollination. ↩︎