Why I created a website and started a blog?
I’ve created maybe 6 or more websites in my lifetime, all of them for personal use and none of which have ever gotten off the ground or have been hosted for others to see. They all followed along the same general line, a mishmash portfolio of photos I’d taken and thoughts I’d had. Never, however, in the form of a blog.
Having always had an interest in technology, computers, the internet and what they all have to offer is actually what drove these sites into their short existence. I never required a website, I wasn’t selling anything or offering a service, it was nothing other than vain self-interest and wanting to understand the process and how it all worked. The technology, therefore, was the why and the technology was also the how. I’ve probably tried a good portion of the options out there for creating a website, HTML, Bootstrap & CSS, WordPress, Squarespace, Webflow, I even went back and took a look at Dreamweaver which is something I used back in school. It may still be a perfectly valid option but to me, it has the aura of ancient technology and nostalgia. This site though is built on Wix. Not for any particular reason, it was just the platform I picked up this time around. My needs aren’t vast and I am sure any of the previous candidates would have served an equally enjoyable and full experience.
So what makes this site different?
A bit of background
Before we get to the site I need to set the scene. I’ve just turned 30, have a house, a stable, reasonably well-paid job, of which 80% of the time I find enjoyable and interesting, I also have a lovely, supporting girlfriend. This is all fantastic and I am sure, to some, sounds like an embarrassing gloat. I really hope it doesn’t. So why then do I still feel unfulfilled? I don’t mean to say my life is a misery, far from it in fact, it just doesn’t quite feel complete or whole. I don’t believe I am alone in this feeling and I’m sure most can empathise on some level with it, which is why I hope that first part doesn’t come across as self-promoting, puffed-up and smug.
So why then does my more than satisfactory life still feel somewhat incomplete and unfulfilled? Well, to me unfulfilled and incomplete both sound as though something is missing or lacking and as of yet I do not know what that is. So this website is an experiment - an exploratory exercise if you will - into finding that void filler, that “je ne sais quoi”, that missing something. In essence then, it’s a place for me to answer some questions I currently have and to answer some that I don’t believe I have even asked myself yet.
To find that missing something I have to start somewhere and motivation and productivity is something I feel I lack, so it would seem to me as good a place as any to start.
I don’t mind saying that I am, inherently, a very lazy person, I’ll take the easiest path for all of life’s challenges, be that at work or in my personal life and I have and often do the bare minimum to get by. This has worked quite well for me up until now but this does come with its own pros and cons, a subject matter we shall leave that for another time. The starting point then of this experiment is my own perceived laziness.
The idea of being productive sits well with me, the dopamine hit you get from organising, planning and accomplishing a task resonates with me deeply and as the carrot at the end of a stick motivates the donkey, maybe the anticipation of a dopamine kick will shift me into gear? From my previous experience I can say “no, it doesn’t”. I am lazy. I will spend ages implementing plans, downloading wanky productivity apps, setting up templates for habit tracking, brain dumps and to-do lists but they all end up abandoned, gathering physical and digital dust. The problem is, I very rarely ever end up ever doing the bloody work. The hard bit! I get just enough of a dopamine hit from the setup and the planning (the easy bit), that when it comes to doing the work, I flop. I hate this and the more I think about it, the more infuriated I become. So why is it so hard? I know other people must have the same issues but I’m thinking of myself here and I need a solution and I think I may have just found it. It’s simple. Just do the bloody work! For me though, this on its own won’t work, I am going to have to sugar coat it or roll it in glitter to get my arse moving.
Money, a website and a bit of drive.
I want to achieve and do more but I feel as though I need to hold myself accountable, and for that, I think spending money may help. I wouldn’t consider myself hugely materialistic. I’m not an online shopaholic, my wardrobe is most likely on average 5 years old and I’m not a sucker for fads or gimmicks. That being said, I don’t believe I am frugal or tight either, I socialise, go on holiday, treat myself and my girlfriend to things we enjoy and no one has ever said such things to my face, nor have I heard it behind my back. I do believe however, that dull term “sensible” is apt when it comes to me and my money. So spending my own money, in my mind, should keep me focused and on course.
So what am I spending my money on?
Maintaining my accountability (which is being driven by the spending of my lazily earned cash) is to be done by this website - The Fourth Wall. Here is where I plan to document my newfound “productivity”. It will be a refuge for my learnings, experiments, hobbies and anything else I am willing to share with the wider world. I believe that sharing my work will not only focus and help me get stuff done, but hopefully, it can benefit others. Benefitting others is something that I’d like to be a key driver moving forwards. If can gather an audience of any size and from which, some gain reasonable value, that would be a huge motivator for me. Helping others always feels good, and so if I see this happening over time I don’t think I could be happier.
Sharing my work is an idea I got from reading a sample book on my Kindle - “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon - I am ashamed to say that I have not yet read the full book, although I do intend to. As is often the way, other books, audiobooks, films, TV and life have got in the way. The brief segment that I did read resonated with me, and althas only a few pages it has been a key driver of this site and my mindset towards my work and the sharing henceforth of it.
So motivation is somewhat high at the moment, and I want to try and keep this thing going. I’m a little nervous, and I don’t want to be holding myself too accountable, therefore I am not looking to do regular, weekly, bi-weekly or tri-weekly posts but to post as and when inspiration strikes. I can’t say I will have a niche to start with, but maybe over time, that sort of thing will emerge. For now, all I want to do is learn the processes and see what it takes to maintain a blog. Hopefully, along the way, a few of you may stick around and leave comments and thoughts of your own. On the Homepage, you will find a way to contact me directly if, for any reason, you feel compelled to do so.
Who knows how this will go and where I may end up but let us see. So far, getting this all going has given me a small sense of purpose and it has been an enjoyable experience. Hopefully, this will continue but only time will tell.
The Forth Wall.