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Past and Future Writing
WHETHER WE WANT TO OR NOT, we leave our footprint on the world — particularly a digital one. We leave a legacy scattered across the Internet. And I believe this is a truly marvellous thing. As I’ve written in the past, I believe the Internet is still an exciting new frontier for anybody to find their voice. A place where anybody can stop being a consumer and start being a creator. But what exactly are you going to create? That’s the question I’ve been struggling with since I began blogging.
I think this is a problem common to a lot of people that want to begin, they don’t know where to start. We all want our work to be creative and interesting — to be read by people all over the world. It can be a struggle to find what exactly makes us unique — we’re all just a drop in an ocean.
More than that, though, it can be an even harder struggle to find a topic we have enough authority to talk about. Everybody suffers from impostor syndrome. That’s not even mentioning that it should be enjoyable, right? You want to be passionately working without it feeling like work.
These are just a few of the many obstacles that still hold a lot of people back. That makes them end up choosing to still be a consumer over a creator.
But what does any of that have to do with me? Well, this is mostly just an update post.I’ve been thinking particularly about what I’ve written in the past. What exactly has been it’s purpose? I’ve said before that there isn’t an inherent purpose. It was just writing for the sake of writing.
Good writing is writing that has teeth. It has sharp teeth that are as hard and pearly, like bone.
But that was over a year ago. And as fun as it was to finally write out all the thoughts I was previously holding onto for years, I feel past that now. I believe I need to get more serious about what exactly I’m doing, and stop treating it like a fun exercise in creativity. Good writing is writing that has teeth. It has sharp teeth that are as hard and pearly, like bone. Or in other words, intentionality is fundamental to any making anything good in life.
So I’m shifting gears moving forward. The distilled philosophy is that I’m going to try to write what matters. To replace navel-gazing with useful acumen. I’m going to try to benefit a potential audience. To educate, inspire, & entertain.
But that’s still only abstract principles and ideals. It doesn’t really deal with the problem I described above, about finding the what of the articles I write. Simply put, the what is an idea — a good idea. (All stories really just boil down to nicely-decorated ideas.) A blog post should have a central thesis and focused.
And I believe there’s a common string between everything I’ve written so far — a theme. And I’ve slowly realized that what I have been doing is blogging a book. Each post being more of a rough draft with a sturdy idea behind it.
Soon, I’ll be migrating to a new location. Despite it’s many changes over the years, I still enjoy Medium, and I’ll be cross-posting to it after I migrate. But I think having a piece of personally owned real-estate on the internet is important. Particularly as a web developer — and having the ability to create something of my own.
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Addendum: The Future
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be;
and that which is done is that which shall be done:
and there is no new thing under the sun.
— Ecclesiastes 1:9
Let’s go back to the topic of obstacles — the things holding people back from creating. I think something that personally demotivates me is seeing how much has already been done. What thought hasn’t been brilliantly written out yet by someone else? What is there still to create? It’s 2017, the past century has seen an explosion of exponential growth in every aspect of humanity, and now it begins to gently plateau.
But then I remember how ridiculous it is to think that way — it’s all relative. Today is yesterday’s nostalgia to someone in the future.
What exactly does the future hold? The answer is far more than people realize. Get excited, there’s still a multitude of unknowns. We’ve still only discovered 14% of the species in the world! Even with our breakthroughs, like CRISPR and artificial neural networks, we’ve barely scratched the surface.
We’re on the cusp of brand new technologies that have yet to find their real purpose. We are still pioneers. We cannot lose our sense of adventure. The world needs a new, younger face of leadership willing to stand up for the scientific curiosity needed for us to survive. I’m excited for the future.