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.