Looking through the wayback machine while writing my initial post about the evolution of this site made me realize just how much writing I’ve done online since 2000. It also made me realize how un-focused, un-principled, and scattered I’ve been.
Digging through those archives was an eye opening experience. After going through much of my previous writing, the major realization I walked away with was just how much I’ve struggled to find a direction for this blog in the past. My posts have been largely chaotic and without focus. After quite a bit of thought on the subject I believe it has been the by-product of spending too much time looking at everyone else and not enough time just being me.
When you take in as much content as I do each week it’s hard not to be influenced (consciously or unconsciously) by the volumes of great work being produced out there. As a result, there have been times when modeling my topics after what others were doing seemed to be the right thing to do. But that line of thinking is at the root of the problem and largely excludes me from the process. There are times as writer where it makes sense to adapt and evolve existing topics, but overall, it’s important to remember that my path is my own. That’s a major portion of what I’ve learned in grad school over the past two years. It’s time to stop reading and time to start doing.
My writing was largely chaotic and un-focused. My feeling is it was the by-product of me spending too much time trying to be like everyone else and not enough time just being me.
When I started working again on this blog it was fairly clear that my past writing needed to be archived so I could move on–drawing from a fresh palette. So, as of this writing, several hundred posts have been boxed and shelved–to be reflected on again at a later date. I’ve made way for something new. Have I figured out the best way to proceed? Not quite yet. Do I know the best path for my work and writing to take? Absolutely not. I’m still in the throws of enlightenment, but it gets clearer with every phrase I construct.
What I do know is that writing is essential to my design life and to my work. It’s a crucial skill that builds foundations and cements understanding. It’s also a skill largely lost to the new generations of designers being minted every year. That, however, is a topic for another time.