A New Home

Yep. In 2015, I’ve made a blog.

I know this is totally counter-cultural at the moment. Writing a blog on your own self-hosted website is increasingly unpopular. And I know Medium is all the rage right now, along with Tumblr, and I even understand why. But in the age of streaming and on-demand content, I really like having my name on the masthead.

I guess I’m a traditionalist. As far as I’m concerned, places like Medium are nice ways to give somebody else all your best words and let them find a way to monetize it. Let the kids have it.

Of course, I didn’t decide to start writing online again solely to rail against the system.

Why I Started a Blog

Before I became a web designer, I was a writer. I’ve been writing since I could read. I even convinced my parents to buy me a typewriter when I was around eight years old, thinking it would help me become more like Hemingway and Tolkien. (What eight-year-old thinks like that, right?)

I started writing professionally when I was twenty-one. I worked at an ice cream chain, and a gentleman came into the store who ran a television studio. We got talking, and when I told him I wanted to be a screenwriter, he told me his last writer just won an Emmy and to give him a call. He gave me his card.

From there, with no portfolio or CV (amazingly), I was suddenly writing commercials for a small production studio a five minute walk from my apartment. It was the dream gig for a young guy in school. That gig turned into opportunities to write for places like AppStorm, Paste Magazine, Jim Dalrymple’s The Loop Magazine, and more. Most of the time I would write app reviews or articles covering design in the Apple world. That writing led to opportunities doing design work, and I never looked back.

That is, until recently. I don’t have a place to share my thoughts with the world. I want to have somewhere to share my writing that, like my words, belong to me. Most importantly, I miss being forced to think about what I want to say. It’s one thing to have an opinion, but another to hold it up to such scrutiny as to write it down. So here we are.

Make It Feel Like Me

I was living in the apartment my wife and I share before we were married. Our wedding was at the end of the month, so to avoid paying for an extra month of rent at her old place, we got the keys for the new one a month in advance. I started moving the essentials there: we had a mattress, a bean bag chair, and my TV with a Wii U and PlayStation. We stocked the kitchen with just enough bowls and plates for me to get by, and I brought some of the old kitchen stuff from my college days down.

And that somehow felt like enough. It didn’t feel like home yet — that didn’t come until later — but it felt like me.

That’s what my vision is for this site. I want it to feel like me. Nothing but some text, some funky colours, and maybe the occasional image or two. I didn’t want any crazy JavaScript or wild animations. I just wanted an online home for my thoughts, where they could live unfettered from the noise and distractions that come with being on the web circa 2015. A place that would be as opinionated as me, maybe even to the point of being unpopular. I don’t care really. This isn’t for you. Selfishly, this whole place is for me. And I think today’s web could use a little more of that selfishness. Maybe it’s the only way to keep everything from looking the same.

None of this is to say this place won’t get cluttered as time goes on. This is a brand new home with only a couple pieces of furniture. Give it a couple years to start looking crowded. By the time my wife and I moved into the apartment officially, there was enough stuff in it to fill Noah’s ark. And I’m excited for that to happen to this website, too. Not everything should be a masterpiece of Zen minimalism, least of all the online homes that represent our real selves. We’re messy and complicated people, right? So I figure the website will get messy and complicated too in time.

I’ve kept a couple things from my old blogs on here — just my most important thoughts from the past year. I didn’t want to clutter this place up with junk right out of the gate. I just wanted to make something new, and to learn a few things on the way. Expect me to do more of that around here. Sound good?

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November 23 2015 in Miscellany