Yeah I know, you’ve heard it a million times before. Bloggers quietly disappear for a while, come back with a “oops sorry, this time I’ll keep it up for sure!” and then they never do. So I won’t fault you for being skeptical.
Anyway. This is a bit of a belated announcement. I decided more than a month ago that I would take a hiatus during January to restructure the blog and build a buffer. Then I ended up taking the Xmas weeks off as well, because it was, well, Xmas.
Don’t worry though, I absolutely haven’t given up on blogging, rather the opposite in fact! Apart from the naive idea that I would have the time and energy to blog during the holidays, I met my own goals, and now I have a much better idea of what I actually want to do with this thing.
This week, I was struck by the first proper case of writer’s block since I started this blog. I’m actually a little surprised that it didn’t happen earlier! Thankfully, it let go of me after just a few days, and I’m now back in the game. But for a while there, I just wasn’t interested at all. Continue reading Back in the Game→
Every day for the past week I have come to a point where I’ve had to accept that I would not be able to do any more programming that day. Either because it was getting late or because my brain was fried. Every day I have, with great regret, closed down Visual Studio and Unity3D and tried my best to put my current task out of my head. Every day it has been nearly impossible. I have never been so in love with a job – and I’m not even getting paid for this one.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to me. This should have happened years ago. If there is one aspie tendency in me I have never questioned, it’s a penchant for logical, systematic reasoning. As much as I am driven by emotion, and as much as I geek out on relationships, I even approach my feelings systematically. No wonder I’ve taken to programming. Continue reading My Road to the Code→
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.
From the biography of coreographer Martha Graham, as quoted here
Every once in a while I get into conversations about houseplants. I’ll mention that I keep orchids, for instance, and immediately people think I’m some sort of plant wizard. Well, I’m not. Actually, for long periods of my life, I’ve been pretty crap at taking care of living things.
The point is, it’s really not a big deal. Keeping flowers healthy isn’t magic, you don’t have to sacrifice baby animals to obscure deities or even buy expensive equipment. Plants are less articulate than animals. Unlike dogs or cats they won’t make much of a fuss when they’re hungry or thirsty, so the main issue is really to remember to take care of them at all.
So, if you’re one of those people convinced they’re some errant offspring of a death god, destined to kill whatever they touch: You’re probably wrong. If you enjoy having greenery around you, here’s a few tips that’ll get you started! Continue reading How To Not Kill Your Houseplants→
Writing the first post on a new blog is kind of like starting a new journal. You have that huge, empty space in front of you, a white page (or screen) waiting to be filled. Demanding, even. And for some reason, you feel like those first words have to be perfect.
It’s ridiculous, obviously. Very few things turn out perfect on the first try. And what’s a perfect first blog post, anyway?
Of course, there are plenty of people (pro bloggers, that is) who have opinions on that. Usually, the idea is to set the tone for your future writing. The problem is that even though you may have some idea of what you want that tone to be, it will still take some time to develop. Also, in my case, I’ve had some trouble figuring out what I actually want to blog about.
A Paralysing Lack of Focus
See, there are so many topics that interest me. Everything from deep stuff – like various social justice causes, relationships and intimacy, gender, and so on – to hobbies and crafts, gardening, gaming, and other assorted geekery. So you can imagine my plight when pretty much every expert on the internet says, “You have to focus! You have to find a niche! You have to have a topic! You have to know your audience!”
But I’m a generalist, not a specialist. I’m not an expert at anything, but quite good at a few things and doing alright at a lot. My hobbies and interests tend to shift over time, leading to me picking up a lot of new skills but never honing any of them to a fine point.
I used to think the reason I never managed to become an expert was because I’m lazy. But I’m not. I’m simply way too interested in way too many things to be able to focus on just one of them. This realisation came to me earlier this year as a result of reading this excellent blog post by Stephanie Zvan on Specialist Envy. (Not very long thereafter I also realised that I probably have ADHD. No wonder I can’t focus!)
Along with this realisation came a certain amount of acceptance. Being unable to focus on one particular thing and become an expert on it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Especially not when it’s paired with an ability to pick up new knowledge and skills very easily. It means whatever I’m doing, I usually have some idea of the wider perspective.
Realising I’m a generalist was all well and good, but it certainly didn’t help me narrow down what I wanted this blog to be about. I have kept blogs before, and inevitably abandoned them as my focus shifted to other things. As a result, I became more and more reluctant to start new ones.
The Obvious Answer
This time, as my need to exercise my creative muscles (as well as my rather excessive desire to Tell People Stuff), I caved and asked my friends what to do. The answer was pretty much unanimous: “Just write whatever you want to write.”
In retrospect, that was kind of obvious. If I am to stay interested in blogging, I need to write about what I’m passionate about at the moment. Not force myself into a niche, which I will inevitably get bored of.
In other words, this is a blog about me, Alex Felicia. It’s about my hobbies, interests and passions. I’ll be sharing all sorts of things, from thoughts on how to deal with jealousy, to tips on how to make your planner look awesome – as well as what is going on in my life at the moment. If you know me, I hope this is reason enough to stick around and keep reading. If you don’t, give me a chance – perhaps it turns out we share an interest or two.
But don’t worry, everything will be neatly categorised so you can follow only the parts you are interested in. After all, one of my current passions is organisation…