I started this blog to stay focused.
What I mean to say:
I left Facebook and Twitter. It felt like they were consuming too much of my life, and I needed a break.
It’s a hard transition. Back in the day, when I was in my early twenties, I used to blog like this religiously. I put my thoughts out on the Internet for all to read and comment on.
I kept it up past the advent of Facebook, to chronicle my self-driven study of art and later my journey to art school, and later still, my graduation and subsequent unemployment.
I was on Twitter by this time, but it was quiet there. Small. My timeline was dominated by John Cusack who seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time starting political fights with randos (I imagined him sitting at a dark Hollywood bar counter, ignoring his drink and his friends as he bent over his phone and typed away with his thumbs), and Roger Ebert who was enamored with the simplicity of the rice cooker and wanted to share his joy with the world (occasionally he tweeted about movies, but it was mostly the rice cooker).
But that was more than a decade ago. I’d stopped blogging along the way. Twitter had become my outlet. Over the years I grew accustomed to its format of narrative brevity. I grew to love it, even. In the early days, I had a small following and it still felt as intimate as blogging once had. I could say just about anything and be assured I was mostly talking to friends, or the occasional passerby looking for a laugh or a friendly exchange.
Nowadays, the Twitter world feels full to overflowing. There’s multiple discourses a day (say, did you know about worms?). There’s subtweet upon subtweet, where if you really want to know what they’re about, you have to wait for three to five hours. Twitter is a study in miscommunication as cultures clash by the measure of seconds. The timeline is ever scrolling; as soon as you click on a cool thing, it’s disappeared, buried by about thirty new tweets, and as you’re scrolling down to find it again, you realize you’ve forgotten what it was.
I needed a break, and not simply because of Twitter. I had devoted so much of my time to other, outside things – many of them good, and important, but all together time-consuming. It felt like I was giving every bit of myself to everyone and everything else without leaving anything for me. I needed to simplify, to reclaim my stretched too thin parts. I would learn how to delegate and how to leave my responsibilities in the care of others for a while. I was finally going to take time to focus on myself.
So I started this blog.
I’m not very good at the focus thing. Yet. I’ll get there eventually. This is another sort of distraction, but it’s entirely for myself. That serves as a reasonable excuse, right?