I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

Fresh Start

It dawned on me today that I’ve been writ­ing a blog, in one form or anoth­er, for the last 8 years. Ini­tially, I was full of the youth­ful enthu­si­asm of someone who had just dis­covered the medi­um, I could eas­ily sit down at my Mac and with­in half an hour have pub­lished a new post. With­in a few months I had found a num­ber of oth­er blog­gers who wrote with a little more qual­ity than I did and with a little more dis­cern­ment when it came to top­ics they wrote about. They had built a bit of a lar­ger audi­ence than I had, but with some their encour­age­ment I pushed on regard­less. By the time I gradu­ated uni­ver­sity in 2007 I had built an audi­ence of around 300 subscribers.
It was a decent num­ber of sub­scribers, but bore an unfor­tu­nate con­sequence. The num­ber of sub­scribers caused me to stop enjoy­ing my blog. I wanted to provide value to my read­ers, say pro­found things. I felt I needed to bring a focus to my blog in order to do that and I began apply­ing pres­sure to myself. Even­tu­ally fall­ing into the beliefs that the posts I was writ­ing weren’t good enough.
Things dried up and I stopped writ­ing until my blog even­tu­ally died.
Since then I’ve been try­ing to regain the blog­ging vigour I had when I first star­ted. I just can’t seem to shake the pres­sure that what I write has to be amaz­ing. I haven’t been able to break the fear of post­ing to my blog.
I’ve even made things more com­plic­ated. When I first star­ted blog­ging, I would just write whatever came into my head. It would get a tag or two and then be pos­ted. But when I star­ted to struggle I began to seek out solu­tions to make post­ing easi­er. I added linked list posts, so I could just post a link and a little bit of com­ment­ary. Then I added quotes, and soon after pho­tos. But it nev­er really worked, rather than mak­ing things easi­er, I had really just added a level of com­plex­ity that I didn’t need.
When I star­ted work­ing for myself, I thought I would quickly begin blog­ging again. I hoped I would be able to add anoth­er cre­at­ive out­let, one that I had once found so valu­able. The trouble was, I didn’t know what the blog was for. Was it for my busi­ness or was it per­son­al. It had my name on the domain but I wanted it to grow so that aware­ness of my busi­ness would grow. Con­sequently noth­ing really changed and, des­pite a few spells of post­ing links, it’s largely sat dormant.

Starting again

Over the last two months I’ve finally star­ted to use an app that’s been on my iPhone for most of the last two years. I’ve begun to use Day One in a way that has bought me to a place that I want to write. Almost every even­ing for the last 2 months I’ve writ­ten an entry in Day One that has been tagged “3 Things”. Each post con­sists of 3 things that I’m thank­ful for from the day that has just passed. Occa­sion­ally the entries get an image, some­times they get expan­ded on and I add some thoughts about whatever I’m think­ing through at the time. One thing that it has helped me with, is find­ing that I’m start­ing to enjoy writ­ing again. Start­ing to want to blog once again.
It’s with this in mind, that I find myself here. Start­ing again.
I’ve reset my blog. Gone is the archive of posts that are made up largely of links. Gone are the mul­tiple cat­egor­ies and post types along with the com­plic­ated theme they needed to look dif­fer­ent. Gone are any oth­er bits of cruft that have built up over the years. Instead, posts are now posts, cat­egor­ies don’t exist and posts will likely be tagged. The site struc­ture is simple, there’s the home page and the posts. An archive and an about page will fol­low at some point, but for now there are just posts. The theme is simple and clean, designed to be read and for any pho­tos in the posts to look good.
In some ways it’s a sad and dis­ap­point­ing move. I’ve deleted an archive of work that has taken a few years to build up. But I needed to take away the bur­den of expect­a­tion, I didn’t want any­thing to feel like it didn’t fit what had come before it. I didn’t want a bar­ri­er to my blog and it felt like my blog itself had become that very thing.
So this is the new PhilBowell.com, it’s my blog and if you’ve made it to the end of this post I’d like to say thanks for your time hope to see you again soon.