Blog update

computer keyboard

A quick announcement – You might start seeing some shorter, journal-style articles on the blog.

When I performed my monthly reflection at the end of August, I was disappointed to see that I hadn’t published as much as I would have hoped.

The reasons, along with prior months, are threefold.

Firstly, there’s the implicit assumption that all articles should help their readers in some way, offering pithy snippets of wisdom and sharp lightning strikes of insight to help website visitors transform their lives. No pressure!

While I feel I have written some such helpful articles, their general scope makes them much harder and more time consuming to create.

With a day job and only so many spare hours, adding to this humble digital abode would often fall by the wayside. 

The second issue came with attracting new readers. As a content creator in the digital age, we’re faced with two main considerations – writing for both the audience and the search engines.

Unfortunately, the Google Gods are firmly in control of what we see on the tinterwebs.

Even when we type a specific search query, the results are often engineered by savvy marketers to appeal to various algorithmic whims.

While this is often a necessary evil in establishing an online footprint, it also means that to get eyeballs on your work, articles must be both detailed and comprehensive.

The two issues above, while valid in isolation, have ushered in a far more pernicious problem of perfectionism. Waking up to the prospect of writing a life-altering, world-beating, Google-dominating article is enough to induce panic.

Such it was that I found myself procrastinating on various article ideas and moving from creation into consumption mode, absorbing other people’s online offerings.

It was during this period of reflection that I noticed a curious factoid. 

Most online content I personally enjoy reading is written in an intimate, colloquial style, with the writer inviting you into their daily life.

I don’t read these articles after Googling help with specific issues, but instead because I enjoy the author’s thoughts, opinions and reflections.

Rather than the increasingly prevalent and depressing corporate lingo, these are authentic glimpses into another mind and life, the pieces often short and personal in nature.

Furthermore, these are blogs that I visit directly, rather than through digital middlemen like Google.

This consumption sparked a couple of personal revelations.

By trying to create the best articles on the web to appeal to humans and machines alike, I was forgetting the reason I started this website; as an outlet for creative expression.

Initially, the motivations were purely intrinsic, and ones of playful enjoyment.

But over time, I seem to have succumbed to society’s trap of only engaging in an activity to generate tangible, external results upon which to hang my hat. 

Focusing on the result over the internal satisfaction of the pursuit is often the road to misery, creating an unquenchable thirst for success and the kind of paralysis evident in my own lack of writing.

Like any good craftsman, the internal pleasure we derive from our work should be its own reward.

Many times, creators may even disguise their ambition with proclamations around their desire to serve others.

While this can add fuel to the fire, I often regard such altruistic urges as a proxy for ego-driven recognition.
 
In contrast, I contend that sustainable motivation is contingent on a degree of self-serving.

That you do the work because, as opposed to forced labour, it feels like play.

So in that spirit, you may see some shorter, stream of consciousness style articles on the blog (or perhaps just cat videos). Stay tuned.



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