Only a few days into this project, and I’ve already let an entire day — yesterday, Saturday — go by with nothing put to screen but a short-lived annoyance about being awakened by the telephone. I have no convenient excuse: I wasn’t out of town; I wasn’t off doing something else; heck, I didn’t even leave the house until 6:30pm. The truth is that I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at other blogs, reading articles about blogs, catching up on web design theory, finally coming to the realization that I didn’t go into this with any particularly clear goals.
Mainly, I guess I started doing this because:
1. I hadn’t challenged myself creatively in much too long a time, and felt like I was losing a sense of myself as a web designer.
2. I want to continue to be part of the web culture in a way that might make me feel like I had at the beginning.
3. I’ve been bored.
As far as items 1 and 2, back in 1994-96 when I started working online, just building web sites at all meant you were doing something new and creative. But eventually that pretty much came to an end for me professionally as I became a technical web manager, then a senior manager, and finally a CTO. Much of the fun, excitement, creativity and pure joy got lost along the way. At the beginning I was so caught up in those aspects of it that I couldn’t wait to come home and spend four or five hours a night working on my personal site even after having spent ten or twelve hours at work building professional sites. Later, though, after spending sixteen to eighteen hours at work managing budgets and people, approving other people’s code and design, but mostly just attending meeting after meeting after meeting, I no longer had the energy or even the faintest desire to play around on my own at home; I often just wanted to take my Prevacid, fall asleep and forget.
I’m no longer sure that I can even accurately call myself a “web designer”; while I’ve kept up to date as possible, at the very least through my reading, the state of the art has changed in ways that I haven’t had the luxury of time — or the endorsement or encouragement of the institution — to indulge or explore when working. And I’m definitely no longer a pioneer. One of my fears, in fact, about trying to start [a] blog[s] now is that I’m not sure there’s any topic I can cover, anything I can say, any structure I can provide, that hasn’t already been done, said or offered a dozen, a hundred, or a thousand times. So I no longer have a portfolio that demonstrates my native talent, creativity or intellectual independence. I can point to my many successes as a director and CTO at managing budgets, cutting costs, raising productivity, and managing projects, but none of those things make my pulse quicken or my intuitions flash.
So, I’ve boldly and mostly unknowingly managed somewhat paradoxically to over-qualify while simultaneously under-preparing myself for employment doing the things that have excited and thrilled me the most, and for which I am temperamentally probably most suited.
So this may turn out to be nothing more than a personal journal, and maybe it was begun and will be sustained — as and if it’s sustained — out of boredom. But perhaps that’s enough.