Five incarnations of this site have existed since the mid-90s. Those five versions have encompassed much of my adult life and design career–the good, the bad, and the ignorant. Yet, here I sit, at a point of reflection, readying for the release of round 5. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d make it.
Of course, that sounds darker than it really is. What I really mean is that I wasn’t sure when this newest version of the website and the blog would see the light of day, or if it ever would. If time is of an essence, I always seem to be way short on essence.
Yet, here I sit, at a point of reflection, readying for the release of round 5. I wasn’t sure I’d make it.
I also wasn’t convinced of the importance of it. There’s been a lot of talk about the validity and usefulness of blogs over the last few years. Many of the articles discuss the pros and cons of maintaining a regular blog vs. the unwillingness of people on the web today to read in favor of scanning text. I’ve always had personal issues with the f-shape reading pattern. Not because I don’t believe it’s valid, but because it bums me out to think that we’ve become a society in too much of a rush to slow down and read content. It’s for this reason that I began thinking that there might not be any real reason to invest myself in another personal publishing outlet. After all, what is the point of this if it just floats out into the ether?
This past year has marked some major changes in terms of the project types I’ve been working on. The majority of my work has always been design-based, but I’ve also had a toe in the editorial and writing pools for several years. The last year, however, has seen that toe become a foot; which then became a leg; and now consumes much of my lower half. In other words, I’m writing and editing a lot more than I used to.
All of this writing and publishing via different publications has made a profound impact on how I think about the process of writing. Writing for others can be challenging. The control exerted by publications on a writer can be demanding at times. Yet, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I honestly believe that editorial standards can help a writer grow, but it is a process of change and compromise. You have to be willing to allow your work to be influenced by others, which can feel a little like letting go of your creation, but this is part and parcel of professional writing. So, I accept it and try to learn from it…and I have. Yet, it got me thinking about blogs again.
The purpose of a blog might not be completely moot. I’ve come to believe there is value in having a space free of the editorial control of others. A space in which the subject matter, the good writing and the bad, are completely within your individual control can be useful. A place to grow and explore topics that don’t need to fit into a certain demographic or a publication’s target area can be empowering. The process of self exploration is a right and necessity that writers have maintained for centuries, and one that I look forward to continuing in future iterations of this site.