There’s something about fresh starts that just appeals to me. Whether it be shredding old documents, donating old clothes to charity or even the first day of a new month. I like it.
And so, this fresh start.
Ironically, I’m writing while feeling far from fresh. After essentially traveling between London, Dublin and Edinburgh for three weeks on the trot, I’m slightly worn down. I also managed to pick up the flu somewhere along the way (thank you very much) and here I sit, ten days later, still violently coughing to the point of gasping tears whenever I breathe the wrong way.
I have far too much to do right now, so it’s definitely not an ideal time to sit down and write. And yet it is. Taking fifteen minutes out each day to write something and clear my mind has been inordinately useful over the years. It doesn’t all end up in the same place, but that’s less important if I’m honest.
A mental wash-down with a psychological wet-wipe. Nothing more complex than that.
And so, I started a new blog.
Was there really a need to start a new blog?
No reasons what could withstand the scrutiny of even a mildly interested reader. Just my love of fresh starts, my attraction to the clean slate. And the possession of another domain name.
I’ve written online elsewhere, on multiple blogs, since about 1998. Which is an epoch in internet terms. I’ve little to show for it as things are on so many platforms – many more if you include Twitter and its siblings. I can’t count the hours I’ve wasted agonising over writing something for other blogs, watching reader counts go up (or not) and messing around with the template and formatting.
I’ve spent too long selecting themes, posting and un-posting across multiple social media repositories. Getting frustrated with the inconsistencies between said social media channels and – no matter what – coming back to some sort of ‘home’ on WordPress.
And so, less than 24 hours later, I’m back where I started. Committing to this blog. (Oh, and Twitter and Instagram.)
I’ve decided to worry less about all this stuff. Not on this blog, anyway. I’m keeping it simple this time. Minimal fanciness and notions above my station. Just some words straight from the creative (and anxiety-ridden) centre of my brain on this plain and simple online journal.
I honestly don’t care if it’s read – the main thing is that I’m writing it, clearing the mental decks of unwanted detritus in the process, taking a well-earned break from other people’s problems and frustrations.
So now it’s time to shut down a few abortive online projects and streamline my online presence. No great loss to anyone else, and a must simpler online life for me.
Scratching the writing itch
Don’t misunderstand, I’ve been writing like a demon for years now. But it’s spread over various professional blogs, marketing collateral, conference papers, nonsensical tweets, self-conscious reflections and that kind of thing. Nothing of substance, no matter what I might think.
Unless I’m mistaken, I don’t think I’ve changed the world or its course in history with my views on the latest episodes of Gotham.
But a writing habit. That’s different. So I’m going to scratch my writing itch on a muckiest more regular basis, using this blog as a home for my thoughts, plans, reflections, frustrations and memories. For nobody but myself.
Though you’re welcome to come along for the journey if you’d like. I can’t promise depth, or even clarity.
But if it’s any help, rest assured that just writing this has helped clear my mind and reset my emotional volatility to something that won’t get in the way of my remaining work tasks.