Where to start?
I’ve wanted to start a blog as a creative outlet. For someone who almost failed rudimentary computer science (in high school!), this seems an ambitious endeavour. I read about blog buildings for 6 months, talked to experienced bloggers, and everyone seems to agree that self- hosted blog is the way to go. I also think so too. I want to feel like I own every single part of my blog.
I bought my domain name and hosting plan, set everything up in July. What I did not account for was how much traveling I was and am going to do. My blog went to the back burner. The views dwindled. At the same time I signed up to become a guest blogger at State of Liberation (Soon to be migrated to Collective Voice Magazine). Then I signed up for continuing education to get certification in veterinary acupuncture. I realized I was making my life too complicated.
Throughout all of these, I maintained the habit of reading. Thanks to the free access of Toronto Public Library and its ebook app, Overdrive, I was able to listen to e-books when driving and read before bed or whenever I am waiting in line for something. This is when I came across a book called “The Life Changing Magic of Tiding up” by Ms. Marie Kondo.
During my many trips to Japan, I marvelled at the cute merchandise, the delicate presentation of their cuisine, and the ingenious way they maximize their space in the tiny Tokyo hotel rooms. While I do not think tidying up will have any profound magic, I was drawn to the promise to make my life more organized.
Marie Kondo’s principals are based on 2 simple steps- discard then organize.
The fast commercialism, cheap oversea labor, etc has made it so easy for us to acquire material goods. We have so much stuff that we do not need.
Prior to listening to Marie’s e-book, I was already trying to minimize my belongings. I went through a period of moving every few months for a good 5 years and it breaks my heart every time I have to discard items because I’ve outgrown them or they do not fit into my new life. I also absolutely hate the idea of owning more than one of the same product. When I visit people’s bathroom and see 5 types of shampoos lined up at the rim, each bottle half full, I have the urge to consolidate all the shampoos into one bottle. Therefore, I fully embrace Marie’s teaching about discarding stuff we no longer needs.
Marie recommends to tidy up by categories, starting from the easiest to the hardest- clothes, books, papers, everything else, then memento.
I went through the first 2 categories with no problems. Her simple criteria- Does this still spark joy? was easily answered when I realized many of my clothes were hand me downs or not chosen by me. There were books that, although I enjoyed, would never think to read again.
I started on the 3rd categories- papers, namely, documents, statements, receipts, etc. As I was going through my the papers, I realized that I should also clean up my electronic trails of any junk. From there I felt the need to clean up email inbox, my social media, etc then I saw my first blog…
While I had worked on it as much as I could, it still did not resemble my vision of where I want it to be. Perhaps I was being too impatient. It took forever to figure out where to put everything on the page and every little button I push could accidentally delete what I worked hard to build. With everything else that was going on my life, I did not feel would be able to revive it. It no longer brought me joy. Though it felt a waste to abandon it.
I talked to a friends in web design. One thing we’ve come away is that since I had so little activities on my website, I might as well abandon it and start from scratch. My vision has always consist of 2 different sites. One professional and the other for personal entertainment. What is the fun in building a blog if I am spending time pulling my hair out trying on different plug-ins instead of writing about the subjects I enjoy? If I am pouring money into building a website that doesn’t have satisfactory viewership, how long can I sustain my interest, especially I want to build 2 sites? If I were to spread myself so thin that I cannot even make one decent site, poeple would notice how amateur it is and they are not likely to stay.
Therefore, they suggested that I went back to the basic with the free wordpress.com sites for awhile until I get back into the rhythm of blogging, and if I later want to migrate the sites, they can always help me with it. It won’t be easy but a professional can always do it faster.
Therefore, it was with trepidation that I contacted my hosting company and cancel the remainder of my hosting plan. I am starting from scratch again. The failed website was a lesson for me to see where my strength is, and it is never a weakness to ask for help!