In early May (2015) I wrote a piece I published on Medium called “Blogging about not blogging,” in which I mused on my near-abandonment of my tech blog as well as my failure to keep my “writing journal”—i.e., this blog—up to date.
What do I want to write about, and where do I want to write it? Frankly, I don’t know. I finished the first draft of [my first] novel, Kismet, on April 26th. I could write about that, but I won’t. The internet is thick with unpublished novelists writing about their writing journey. They all mostly say the same set of things, and those things are, unless you are also an aspiring novelist, mostly not that interesting.
What I’m considering doing circles back around to where I started: journaling. Twitter replaces journaling the way a drive-thru replaces having a pleasant lunch at a quiet café—you get what you want out of it, mostly, but it’s hardly the same.
I mentioned that my “writing blog” could become a journal again merely through declaration, and so mote it be. That, of course, still leaves me with what to write about.
There’s work, of course. That’s always a popular topic. Going through my LiveJournal shows an unfortunately recurring theme: my jobs don’t last too long. On occasion that’s been my own doing, like the short-lived fiasco I described in “You can’t hire a new Bill,” in which I realized fairly early on that the job they actually needed done wasn’t the job they’d hired me for. More often than not, though, the situation’s been much less clearcut: contract positions that weren’t expected to go on forever, tiny startups running out of money, and so on.
I recently passed my one-year anniversary at RethinkDB, this time working as a technical writer rather than a web developer. They’re high-profile and well-regarded, and generally really neat people. I’m hoping to stay at the company for a long time, although that depends as much on what happens with their funding in the future as it does with my performance.
I hope to stay as a technical writer rather than a developer, too. I want this career change to stick. The Medium article talks about my tech burnout, but to put it in more starkly emotional terms, at some point during the “consulting phase” I was in from 2011 through early 2014 I was discovering that I’d grown to absolutely dread working with computers. I got angry as web development moved more and more to the front and onto an ever-faster Cool Framework Of The Day cycle. I got angry that new development tools that were supposed to be making things easier were making things more and more fragile. I got angry that everything I loved about computers was becoming so wretchedly complicated. I got angry worrying that I’d finally hit a wall in my understanding of computers and programming, that I’d become the proverbial old dog (coyote) who can’t learn new tricks and that despite being in the midst of a new tech boom, I’d find myself unemployable.
Last but certainly not least: as I mentioned in the quote from Medium, I’ve finished the first draft of Kismet. (It’s at what I’ve dubbed a “1.1” revision: not at the point I’d want to send it to a publisher, but ready for critique.) I’ve been thinking about just what I want from creative writing, and haven’t come to any solid conclusions yet. That’s probably worth a journal post of its own later, though.