I am half a century old, and for more than twenty years of that run, I’ve had a public-facing presence on the internet of some kind. Most recently, I had a morning journal imaginatively titled morning.computer. But time, and working methods, and schedules, and life all act upon practices and plans. Writing in the mornings was a great leveller four or five years ago when I was travelling near-constantly. Today, I spend the first hour or two of my day staring blankly at the sky over coffee with soothing ambient music being poured into my ear canals in an attempt to stop my brain from flipping open the top of my skull and abandoning ship.
And yet. I find myself continuing to want a public-facing place on the net. I always say that I need to get ideas out in front of me so that I can see them properly, and writing not-fully-baked notions on a website is often the best way for me to do that.
Social media does not “get” not-fully-baked. Social media is useless for thinking out loud and exploring notions. Social media — bizarrely, given its nature — does not do context.
I start a new notebook every year. Notebooks have internal context. Notebooks exist only to think about things, remember things and preserve things for later consideration. This is a notebook.
Also, let’s face it, it’s a blog. Not fully elderblog, as it’s a fresh notebook. But it’s a blog, which is a niche activity. Not fully baked is a coinage of Simon Reynolds, from the days when we were all publishing and all reading each other. Now, we’re the Isles of Blogging, a scattered archipelago of desert islands and sea forts who throw messages in bottles towards the mainland. And signal to each other with mirrors.
I am half a century old and nowhere near the cutting edge of anything. I am fine with this.
A legible presence on the web is also important to me. Because I’m a working writer, involved in many things with long gestation periods, and disappearing entirely from human notice is not always the best thing for a career. Put bluntly, I need to be able to signal that I’m still alive.
I’ve been testing out various publishing systems and formats for the last few months, to settle on what I want to do and how I want to act for, say, the next three to five years. I think this is it. So I’m signing and dating the first page of the notebook.