Thursday, September 12 2019

oversleeping, blogging, and journaling

Dear Journal,

Dang it. Overslept again. I sat up in bed at 7:08 AM today, a full 38 minutes after when that's usually supposed to happen. Not too much important stuff happens during that time. I usually just sleepily empty the dishwasher while waiting for coffee to finish brewing, let the dogs out, then at 6:55 AM I sit down at the computer and pretend to write. Along with writing down ideas throughout the day, that's another trick I've found to make journaling easier in the morning. I found that if you take five minutes to bring yourself into the moment and focus on the act of writing, the words come easier.

But like I said, all that went out the window this morning. It's 7:15 AM at the time of writing this, so you're either going to get a shorter entry, or a normal entry preceding me running to the bus stop in a panic.

I stayed up pretty late working on my new blog format. It's always one of those projects that kind of takes over your night, and before you know it "little tweaks" turn into full blown rewrites, then of course you have to finish it before the morning when it's writing time.

But that being said, I hope you like it. It's feeling like a regular website now, isn't it? Last night while I was hacking away, I thought about my blogging journey, which started long before the daily journal cadence. I used wordpress, django, medium, jekyll. I used to spend days writing articles, trying to make people laugh, rile them up about something, and teach them about tech. I used to use a lot of inline images with snarky captions, kind of like the Cracked articles I used to read in college. I used to post the entries all over reddit, hoping to get discovered, and I'd obsessively watch the analytics.

It was good to take a break from it all. When I started journaling every morning, it wasn't even about blogging. It was just about warming up for the day, centering my self, and having a place to leave honest thoughts. But it turned out to be exactly what my struggling blogging voice needed. I learned to write for myself - not reddit or facebook.

Sixty-seven entries ago, I started posting the journal entries online again. The danger of fixating on the image of my blog was still there, so I proceeded back into the public internet with great caution. I wrote a little script that would convert the latest five entries to HTML and publish them to the Internet. I knew that if it was any more complicated then that, the bells and whistles would distract me from the writing.

So this blog is the next evolution of that. I'm still just running a simple little script to convert the entries to HTML, but it's a little more gussied up. It should be easier to read on your phone, and all the entries are saved permanently, so feel free to share and bookmark the entries you enjoy, they're not going anywhere.

My favorite part about this system is that I'm still totally abstracted away from the sensation of having a blog. I'm still writing in my text file, like I have been since the beginning. I don't even stick around to watch it publish, after I kick of the script, I just jump into the shower and let the automation take over. I'm kind of like a super villain triggering a doomsday device every morning. It's easier to focus on the content that way, along with the real reason I'm journaling every day. I'm not tracking views, sending out subscriptions, or trying to get noticed on reddit anymore. I'm not even trying to amuse you, rile you up, or make you laugh. I'm journaling because I like the way it makes me feel, and I like the effect it has on the rest of my day. If you're out there reading, I really appreciate the readership, but I'm not keeping score. I'm still moving forward without a "comment platform" or tracking viewership through analytics, so feel free to either enjoy it in anonymity, or send me an email to out yourself - that's wonderful too. Who doesn't love getting emails?

Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday today. I need to jump in the shower, then frantically run to the bus stop like a kid who is late for school.