Fail up and Blog

These are shower thoughts I’ve compiled on reasons I don’t blog:

  • Overwhelming and paralyzing desire to impress you with my totally original and unique thoughts.
  • Fear that I do not have original or unique thoughts.
  • Too many subjects. Too little time to write.
  • Too many thoughts but can’t focus long enough to write more than 140 characters  (or Why I Tweet but not Blog).
  • Don’t want to be judged.
  • I get annoyed when people disagree with me.
  • If I never write, I’ll never fail.

I have paralyzed myself over-thinking writing about my thoughts.

James Altucher’s 33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer kicked me in the butt. His writing is entertaining, simple, insightful and shocking in a fun way, like that cold plunge after soaking at a Russian sauna. His advice has demystified a subject I’ve built up over so many years.  One point especially slayed me with his simplicity –

Don’t be afraid of what people think

13+ years of public education never supported those statements.

I wasn’t taught to fail. My body, thought processes, notions of time and reflexes have been to prevent failure. I am an expert at picking apart all ways others have failed. The idea that one day I’d be doing the same never hit home. Sometimes I do the wrong thing. Sometimes I lose. Sometimes I didn’t try as hard as I could, and I lose. Sometimes I put in  everything I have, and I still lose.

At 32, I have a new mantra. I will lose. I will make mistakes. I will have shitty periods of time that are completely outside of my control. People I love will make mistakes, usually completely unrelated to me, or not. I will work with people I don’t understand, that I really dislike, and they will fail, just like me. All of these things will happen, and there is nothing I can do about it.

Having failed in a few areas over the last couple years, I’m now back on my feet and ready to fail at something new. As the Japanese Proverb goes, Fall seven times, stand up eight. I’m ready to fail at blogging!

Home sweet home?

I’ve been blogging since Oct 2nd, 2000 where I had my “first post!” on Livejournal

With little concern about privacy, I publicly posted my daily habits, made plans with friends, caught up with old-coworkers and established my community and persona online. When I began working for Brad Fitzpatrick as Livejournal’s Systems Administrator, I made the decision to post more privately, using filters to distinguish between my inner circle, family, friends, co-workers, and the world at large. I learned the hard way that not all information should be available publicly, and the ability to maintain anonymity through an online experience allowed me to continue to be creative without fear of judgment or retribution. I continue to believe that anonymity and the ability to choose how you are presented online is vital toward the future innovation and community building through the internet – more on that in future posts.

Livejournal was acquired by Six Apart in 2005, and I continued to work with Six Apart not only on Livejournal but on Typepad, helping to create and run the service Vox and dabbling a bit with some MovableType services support. While Livejournal was my introduction into the blogging/ online community, Six Apart was a major part of that experience. Through the opportunities given to me at Six Apart, I was able to grow professionally while making some personal connections I hope to maintain for a long time.

Through those 4 years at Six Apart, I blogged sporadically through Livejournal and Vox, but found myself reaching out to community and sharing in other, more brief ways, such as Flickr for my “Photo a day” project.

In 2007 I began using Twitter for updates that fit my daily schedule (and attention span).  In 2010 I began working for Twitter, continuing my desire to work on what I consider to be the most important methods for real-time information sharing.

It is now 2010 and I want to post more than 140 characters and photos at a time. Livejournal was sold again, and I found the experience ruined by ads and lack of new user features. Vox is being shut down and with the recently announced acquisition of Six Apart by VideoEgg, I’m less stoked about starting a Typepad blog. So, I’ve made the decision to centralize online presence through WordPress.com.

It doesn’t make me happy to have so few options available to for blogging, though I am grateful for the tools and portability that allow me to move my data along with me. I hope this is something WordPress and future community sites continue to make available, and that we as a community continue to demand.

I hope to use this space for the expression of my ideas and experiences as a woman in technology and roller derby fanatic and anything else I feel like contributing!