With the active aim in mind to get this site closer to my idealized vision of it, I’ve been giving thought as to how to avoid the usual pitfall of declarative update and prolonged inactivity. The first and most pressing thought that comes to mind is a long-standing civic/legal matter that I’ve realized is more of a psychological barrier than I thought it to be.
Immediately behind that: reestablishing confidence in my written voice.
Back when I first registered by own domain little over a decade ago, I was raring to get a personal website built that would be blog & portfolio like the creatives online I followed back then. Soon after, that year of 2012 when I started to fall apart that I’ve often revisited in many past posts became my entirety. That negative thinking permeated every waking moment of my day, and being a child of the Livejournal web 1.0 era accustomed to having a digital presence that reflects one’s genuine and unfiltered self, I did what I knew and tried to write my way through it.
But it wasn’t something as simple as putting the events of the day into words. 2012 coincided with my mid-twenties, right as the prefrontal cortex of the brain responsible for higher executive functions fully develops. Not only was I trying to work through past traumas without guidance or support, but also overwhelmed with the onslaught of new realizations that came with each successive trip down memory lane. Too much to take in and unpack, let alone quickly sort and write out into a post. With the onset of web 2.0 making former anonymous screen names into established identities traceable to their real-world owners, the doubts over pushing updates piled on:
- The privacy implications for other people readily discoverable via social media connections
- The additional identity theft risks with sharing personal information
- The reduction of my online identity to a helpless mentally addled mess stuck in the past,
- The general lack of confidence in my day-to-day experiences and thinking
- The shame over my efforts with physical and mental personal development continuing to falter
These and other factors created a constant uncertainty and apprehension that became the de facto attitude towards writing outside of my private journal. As a result, all I’ve ended up creating so far is largely a failed chronicle through depression and mental illness, things that I’ve ultimately worked through and resolved privately. And over the course of this year, attempts to reboot this WordPress project and take my self-published writing back to something more than just “myself”.
After all these years of writing from a position of confusion and uncertainty and futility, that became the default mindset. And as reflected on recently, aggravated by the emotional insulation created by those conditions. It’s why I haven’t posted much throughout the entire run of this site. Every time I’ve created a new post to fill up, I’ve gotten lost in trying to figure out what it is I’m ultimately trying to say, and doubts that it’s accurate/appropriate/worthwhile to do so. Especially with the current internet landscape being so attention-driven by social media posts and short-form video, leaving a blog feeling like an outdated practice from a bygone age; when I’ve mentioned to people I’m working on my WordPress sites, the common response has been “people still use WordPress?”. And if building an audience and increasing visibility were my goals, perhaps I would delete this blog, replace it with a simple landing page, and relegate all activity to social networks—a thought that has legitimately crossed my mind more times than I care to admit.
But the Livejournal kid in me doesn’t care to be popular, only known accurately & truthfully. A big part of this most recent “turning point” for me is giving myself permission to be more than the product of that past that needs to be explained. To not just be “okay”, but also on the way towards “great”…and to have it reflected in my output.