Starting a Blog

I've thought about creating a blog on and off for a while; a space to collect my thoughts and to put up some of my photos. I'm entering a new chapter in life and now seemed like an appropriate time.

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

People blog for many reasons - to promote a brand or business, to make money, to build a platform, to gain readership, to feel part of a community. There are a couple of things in particular though that have driven me to create this one:

To be more creative

A few years ago, for 365 days in a row, I took a photo every day and posted it online along with a few words about the day.1 This process taught me a lot; not only how to use my camera but the impact that having a camera with me would shape how I viewed the world, for good and for bad. One of the most important lessons I learnt was the value of finding small ways to be creative everyday; even if it was simply choosing a photo to use. Since I stopped doing the journal I've found I missed that outlet.

There is a lot to consume out there. I'm really good at browsing the internet, listening to podcasts and binge-watching Netflix. These are things which I value and I recognise the ways in which this media enriches our lives. But there is often a relentless pressure to keep on top of the latest cultural phenomenon; without realising it our default setting becomes that of a consumer. This never-ending wealth of amazing content can not only be exhausting but can leave little room for anything else.2

Having a creative project allows me to disrupt this patten. Nothing motivates you more to get off the sofa and run than signing up for a marathon. Creating this blog is my marathon. It's an outlet and a motivator when I want to binge on another TV series; a gentle reminder to be intentional, to get out and to make something and not just be a consumer.

To find a new voice online

Twitter is a huge part of my daily life; I check it constantly and yet I contribute relatively rarely. In many ways it's become deeply problematic, for reasons captured perfectly by this recent comic. It's a great as an aggregator of news, but increasingly less helpful as a place to project thoughts and ideas.

A lot of the modern Internet, at least those online spaces I inhabit, is fueled by cynicism.3 It's easy to join in with those voices often without realising. Writing a snarky tweet feels much safer than projecting something sincere. There is absolutely a place for snark, viral videos and memes but this blog is my attempt to redress the balance slightly.

I don't know what that looks like yet. My interests are quite diverse - technology; spirituality; photography; coffee; tennis. I may write about the process of deconstructing faith. Or maybe I'll write about whether you should fill your house with Wi-Fi light bulbs.4

When I started posting photos online I'd never tried to use a camera properly. Similarly I've never attempted to write before but hopefully blogging can help me improve. One day I may be able to write and better communicate something that is useful or resonates. For now though this is primarily a personal endeavour.

I think I'm OK with that.

  1. I haven't posted in a long time but my journal is still there on I'm still proud of many of those pictures. It's an archive of that time in my life and how my style of photography changed.
  2. And I still haven't watched Breaking Bad. Or The Wire.
  3. And of course GIFS.
  4. Spoiler alert: you probably shouldn't.