the hunter gets captured by the game

Posted on Friday 1 October 2010

sense :: smell // bergamot incense
autumn fantasy

This past week has been a beast, there’s no getting around that fact. Waking up in the middle of the night so irritated at work that I can’t get back to sleep, moving desks again (although the new desk location is indeed an upgrade when compared to the no-window/next to two huddle rooms and a 10-person conference room/right next to the door seat I had before.) Still change is hard, it always is, and sometimes it’s difficult to adapt. I have to make the effort to adapt, even if I don’t completely embrace the change, so there’s that. How did Tomato Nation put it way back in 2005? Oh yeah, down in number 19, one of my favorite quotes ever:

Change is hard; that’s too bad. Effort counts. Make one. Your mommy’s shift is over.

Ain’t that the damned truth.

I’m sitting at my desk at the office, watching the beautiful sunset (I posted a great shot of the gorgeous weather today earlier) and thinking about all of these changes while killing time to let Raevyn get on her way home from the office so I don’t beat her to her apartment tonight. There’s a lot going on, and a lot going on in my head.

Some of it is well ironed out, I can say that much: I’m content freelancing right now, I want to see how things go with the day job before making a decision to stay or go (but I’m keeping my resume and writing samples sharp in case a good offer comes along) but the things I’m more concerned about are more philosophical, existential. I feel like I’ve been losing sight of who I’ve been writing for lately. I mean, I’ve always written for me primarily – other readers be damned – but when you’re trying to build an audience by writing content that appeals to more people than just you, it’s difficult to not slip into the mindset where you have to try and cater to other people’s tastes all the time, and when you don’t or don’t get feedback, feel depressed about it. I find myself hungry for community and comments while I want them to grow organically, not by fudging it somehow, or stretching myself too thin (something else I’m worried about.)

The same applies for my freelancing too – I freelance for a lot of places with great built-in communities, but I keep wanting to be more of a star, and I need to keep that tempered with my desire to actually do good work. I know you can be both – some of my favorite writers and bloggers, journalists and reporters, folks like Gina Trapani and Xeni Jardins and Cory Doctorow and Lance Ulanoff and Patrick Norton and on and on – they all know that if you do good work and engage with it, the people will rally later. I just can’t help wonder if I’m missing something sometimes though, some switch I could flip to really get that ball rolling. Maybe that switch is just more time, I don’t know.

People say that’s the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and hoping for different results. I know better than that. That’s the definition of quantum mechanics. Trust me, I’m a physicist.

To add to the whole shebang, I’ve been itching for some redesigns. I really like The Classy Geek, but Gears and Widgets is getting a little stale. I finally found the tags in the CSS I can use to change the layout width, but when I do it I’m not too sure I like what I see. I also spent a little time in a new theme that would work well for GnW, but the more I customized it the more I actually disliked it. There might be potential there, but I think I just got overwhelmed. The same applies here – the layouts and themes are a little old, and they’re starting to show their age.

Don’t get me wrong, simplicity works and works well – but who doesn’t like new toys now and again? I’m not even going to get into Not So Humble‘s simple three-column layout. No one really goes there anyway and I have a bigger following at the Not So Humble Alternet Blog anyway, actually, which I’m really proud of.

The funny thing is that I’m all nice and registered for CES in January, and likely traveling back to Las Vegas for the festivities, assuming the fine folks at PC Mag are willing to let me cover the event. Even if they won’t, I still think it’ll be a great opportunity and a great show.

Now then, to get in the car, fire up Pandora, and hit the road. Maybe I can find some solace this weekend.

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