My first post is going to be about my reasons for starting a blog. I decided to start with this mostly for my benefit. I read in some book somewhere that when starting a new project I should focus on the why of it. This makes intuitive sense to me, if I don’t know why I’m doing something, how do I know that I am going to have the motivation to see it through? This question seems to be cropping up more and more in my head when starting new projects. I have a keen awareness that my time here is limited and I’ve had enough of chasing dead ends. So on that upbeat note, what are my reasons for starting a blog?
Different people have different fears. Some would laugh at the idea that writing a blog is scary. Yet, sitting here, trying to get some words on a page, I can feel resistance and discomfort in my body. The origins of these nausea-inducing feelings are hard to pinpoint, but I know that I’ve never been one to put much out there for people to see online, or even offline. I’ve been a dedicated consumer of online content but when it’s come to giving my input, I’ve always shied away. I’m not talking about anything big here, YouTube comments, Facebook posts, product reviews, they’re all alien territory.
So what’s behind my radio silence?
I can think of a few reasons. I tend to judge people who post online indiscriminately quite harshly, which might have something to do with my dislike of the celebrity culture of our age. Digging a bit deeper though, and being totally honest, I think my biggest obstacle is a fear of being seen, a fear of the vulnerability that comes with exposure. Fear of getting my opinions out there and then being shown up for not being clever enough or witty enough or good at expressing my thoughts through writing. As you can see fear is a concept that’s been on my mind. I can see that it is the only barrier to progress in a lot of areas of my life and I guess starting this blog is one of the ways I am trying to break down those barriers 💪🏽
I used to think of creativity as this abstract concept that didn’t have much to do with my life. After all, my natural talents and predispositions are unilaterally in my brain’s left hemisphere. Maths always came easy, I studied physics at university and I now work as a web developer. What do I know about creativity?
I had the misconception that to be creative, you had to be an artist or a musician or at least be able to draw or something. Now I see how narrow this perspective was. I’m not sure what changed my mind. Maybe it was learning to code, finding a medium that suited me and slowly building up the skills that allowed me to take a vague image/idea/vision in my head and reproduce it in the world. Creating my first few apps, I discovered the joy of slowly building something up from nothing. I discovered that creativity was basically play and that it could be incredibly fun.
My concept of creativity has actually massively expanded. An idea that’s been floating in my head that we are all creators by virtue of being here. Even the stoner who spends all day on the sofa playing video games. Even that person is a creator, because we can’t help but be our life’s creator. The only choice we have, is whether we are doing it consciously or not.
So how better to tap into creativity than to create my very own corner of the internet. A place where I can give form to the jumble of concepts, ideas and symbols chaotically dancing around in my mind.
My idea to start this blog came about directly after reading about the concept of learning in public. The basic idea, or at least my take on it, is that we are all student-teachers*. This means that whatever skill you are trying to gain, you have not unlocked your full learning potential until you start seeing yourself as a transmitter of knowledge rather than a passive consumer of it.
Whatever we are learning, we should take the time to teach others about it. This has many benefits, both to us as individuals and to the community of learners as a whole. Teaching something will make explicit all the gaps in our knowledge and making ourselves visible will allow others to fill in those gaps. Once more, the content you create, the way you approach a topic and communicate your understanding will be unique to you. This uniqueness will resonate with like-minded beings out there and you will have helped them understand something better than anyone else could have done. The more voices and perspectives we have, the more we can all bring each other up.
On that note I’d like to end my first post with an expression of gratitude for those student-teachers who have inspired me and continue to do so. Thank you Leo and thank you Kent. If I can contribute half as much as value to someone else as you have to me then I’ll be doing pretty well 👨🏽🎤
* Student-teacher is like the concept of space-time. Phenomena that seem different from one perspective but that turn out to be one undivided whole when observed from a higher vantage point 🤓