This post feels like it was a long time coming. I’ve been wanting to start writing regularly for, well, a really, really long time. It’s something that I’ve always imagined myself doing but for the longest time I just felt stuck.
While I was going through the process of revising this site, I realized that I forgot how much work goes into making what is visually an incredibly simple website. And, honestly, I think this was a big reason why I felt stuck for so long.
The other big reason is that it just wasn’t that important for me. This seems so obvious outside of my internal self. Still, it feels important to name this and accept it so I can move forward.
Looking back through the years, this has been an activity that I’ve always thought about doing. There have even been some times where I’ve gone through the same exercise I did before this post but, still, things just didn’t happen.
Part of me thinks that this is just due to time and attention, but the other part is starting to accept that this was a trade-off I was making throughout my life. This trade-off may have been intentional, but it honestly doesn’t seem like it. At the end of the day, I was committing too much of myself to my work and not enough time to myself.
That in and of itself can be a dangerous spiral to fall into. Things start to normalize real quick. Working past 5, coding on the weekends, even just thinking through the things I was doing on the job outside of work hours are all ways that work just bled into my life.
At the end of the day, this stuff had a cost. Sometimes this cost manifests itself in relationships, other times with interests or goals, often times all of the above. The worst part about this is without the time to reflect, or friends who you trust, recognizing these patterns and being intentional about moving past them is incredibly challenging.
What does it look like to move on?
Right now in 2020, there is a lot of time you can spend thinking about oneself. For me, this time has prompted some action around gathering clarity for what I want moving forward. Including answering some of the end-all, be-all questions of life like what do I actually want to be doing right now.
Other parts of this are things I never would have thought of before going to therapy regularly over the past year. Things like acceptance without judgement can go such a long way. Being curious and honest are great at moving past road blocks if you’re open to it.
How these things were manifested for me through this site are through noticing all the obstacles that come up while building a site. Even with a site as simple as the one you’re reading, there were so, so many decisions involved. And honestly I forgot this about building sites by yourself. And it can feel very hard and discouraging when all you want is to write.
Yet, when I say that I wanted to write clearly what I meant in the past was that I wanted to write these huge editorial posts. Things that you would read and feel like your brain has changed how it thinks afterwards.
Obviously, if you go from not writing at all to wanting to write 10-20min long editorials you’re most likely setting yourself up for failure. And that’s all it took for me not to write for so long.
The big turning point for me in 2020 was reading Joel Hook’s Stop Giving af and Start Writing More. I think it hit on everything that I was noticing about myself and how I viewed this space and my work. If anything that I shared about above that I was struggling with resonated with you, I highly recommend checking it out. It kick-started this whole thing, and I really hope it keeps going.
At the end of this first post, I think what I feel the most is excited. And optimistic. Even though things might not have turned out the way I wanted them to in the past, I’m still hopeful for the future. And that, to me, is something worth fighting for.
Till next time — Josh