A year ago, I started a little experiment. A challenge for myself. It was a writing exercise: to keep a journal of sorts. Twice a week, I’d write about something — anything, really — that was on my mind. Like a normal journal, except this would be on the internet — you know, because if I kept it to myself I’m sure I wouldn’t have stuck with it for long.
A year ago, I called that little experiment digitaleidoscope. And a year later, I still don’t know how to pronounce it.
A year ago, I got my first follower. Weirdly, many more followed. A year later, I still can’t figure out why anyone reads this stuff.
A year ago, I was trying to teach myself C++, as evidenced by the title of this post. It didn’t go well. A year later, I’m learning C — in an actual classroom — and nothing has exploded quite yet.
A year ago, I was beginning to think I was incapable of committing to anything long term. A year later, I’ve yet to miss a single day in my posting schedule, even if I’ve had to fudge it a few times. I’ve worked on the same creative writing project all this time too, and I’ve managed to survive school with As across the board. I’m even holding down a real job like a real adult.
And a year ago, I was sort of… lost…
A year later, I’ve put myself out into place where I may not have been super comfortable — and ended up connecting with people who are closer to me now than anyone I’ve ever known in my life. I’ve found a place that feels like home, I’ve proven myself to myself, in more areas than one. I’ve even got some vague idea of where I’m headed. Granted, this blog hasn’t had too much to do with most of that, but it’s been with me along the way, and that counts for something.
So now… one year later… where do we go from here? Things are changing, and I’m not sure exactly what place digitaleidoscope will have in my life down the road, even if I’m certain it has a place. The experiment has run its course. I wanted to see if I could stick with this for a year, if I would even remember to post every week, if I would still have things to talk about twelve months down the road. And I surprised myself, because yes, I did, and did, and yeah, I do. But even if I could keep doing this, I do want to shift gears. I want to write about bigger, crunchier things. I want to dig in, deeper — not just skim the surfaces. And it’s hard to do that when I’m spending most of my time on what are basically journal entries.
That part of the equation will probably fall away over time — the short, observational, navel-gazing silliness. I’ve proven to myself that I can stick to a schedule, so I think that schedule can relax a bit. I’m going to try to let the content drive how much I write from here on out, and not so much the deadlines. It’s a bigger challenge, really, if I don’t tell myself I have to post on certain days. It’s a challenge not to slack off — so that will be the new experiment. Can I post semi-regularly, without the dates set in stone beforehand? Can I keep up with one post per week, maybe? Let’s start there.
We’re in a state of flux. I’m excited about the future, though. In some ways, I don’t know any better than you do what this blog will end up looking like. What it will morph into over time. It’ll be around for the long haul; that much I can assure you. You can’t get rid of me that easily.
Oh, before you leave —
Since we’re on the sentimental thing anyway, here are some folks I should call out publicly for being awesome and making this community a wonderful place to be:
L. Palmer, storyteller extraordinaire, true nerd’s nerd, who was one of the first people to show an interest in my blog.
Joel Newman, fellow videogame scholar. Reading his blog always makes me feel like I’m bad at my job. Which is a compliment. [September 2015 edit: Joel’s blog, Playing the Canon, is no longer active, but you can still find him on twitter.]
Stressed Out Student, who asks me to use my brain on a regular basis, and who is pretty neato to boot.
akeensensibility, writer of some wonderful poems and prose who dropped plenty of words of encouragement on me before suddenly vanishing from the internet. WordPress is a sadder place without her.
Vy / comicsmaniac, one of the most talented, prolific, hilarious bloggers I have had the pleasure of meeting.
And Cristian Mihai, keeper of a monumentally thought-provoking and inspiring blog on writing, and one of five bloggers who blew my mind by not only finding, but liking, my very first post — and making me feel from the start that I was welcome here.