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.

The Blogging Habit

When I first start­ed writ­ing a blog I was 20. It was my first year of uni­ver­si­ty, and I’d some­how stum­bled across a cou­ple of ran­dom blogs, I’m not entire­ly sure how, but I know one thing. As soon as I saw them, I want­ed one.
I dab­bled with a free blog­ger account, and then in my sec­ond year at uni­ver­si­ty I bought my first domain and installed Word­Press. That was the begin­ning of hav­ing my own per­son­al web­site, a place where I post­ed to almost every day, where I taught myself how to build web­sites. I looked at oth­er peo­ples blogs, I copied what they were doing and began adding my own twist on to things. It was fun, a hob­by, a thing I did to stretch my cre­ative mus­cles, a thing to learn on. A thing to think on.
In the four­teen years since I first began to blog, I’ve post­ed to my site at least a few times a year, often sev­er­al times a month, and in a few bursts every­day for a cou­ple of weeks. This year has been one of my most active on years for a long time, but most of that activ­i­ty has been short posts or pho­tos. There has been very lit­tle in the way of full blog posts, every­thing has been verg­ing on the micro end of the scale. Whilst that’s fine, and has coin­cid­ed with me using Twit­ter and Insta­gram less, over the last few months I’ve been fight­ing an itch to try and start writ­ing a longer blog post a day (in the work­ing week at least) but for what­ev­er rea­son I’ve resist­ed it.
Over the week­end I spot­ted a tweet from Austin Kleon in my time­line. He was link­ing back to a post he wrote just over a year ago after he had kick­start­ed his dai­ly blog­ging habit. A cou­ple of sen­tences in that post jumped out at me.

I had no idea how bad­ly my writ­ing mus­cles had atro­phied. After a cou­ple of weeks, I could feel the sen­tences com­ing easier. 

It began to sink in, that rather than think­ing about try­ing to write a post a day, I should just get on and do it. It doesn’t mat­ter real­ly how good they are, the thing is to just get on and do it. But, I still man­aged to put the thought to the back of mind. Then I read the final point of his post.

Maybe I’m weird, but it just feels good. It feels good to reclaim my turf. It feels good to have a spot to think out loud in pub­lic where peo­ple aren’t spit­ting and shit­ting all over the place. 

I iden­ti­fied with that. The whole rea­son I start­ed a blog four­teen years ago was because I want­ed to. I enjoyed it. It felt good to have a place on the Inter­net that was mine, it was fun to have a hob­by. So here I am, post­ing again. In a slight­ly longer for­mat than I have been doing for most of the year. We’ll see how long it lasts, but the main focus, is to have fun and devel­op my hob­by again.

Workloads and Creativity

I’ve noticed over the last few weeks a dis­tinct cor­re­la­tion between my abil­i­ty to spend time on side projects and the amount of design work I have going on. Jug­gling a part time job in the Cof­fee House along­side run­ning my design busi­ness makes for a dis­tinct lack of ener­gy to keep my side/personal projects going when things get busy. I find my moti­va­tion drops as my ener­gy gets used up jug­gling the two, and it’s a source of dis­ap­point­ment since I know the impor­tance of doing my own cre­ative things on the side.
It seems to be a mat­ter of mar­gin or focus, I’m yet to work out which, but my gut (which is usu­al­ly right) tells my it’s about focus. When I become invest­ed in a project it dom­i­nates my mind. It becomes what I think about when I’m not real­ly think­ing and I’ve cer­tain­ly become aware that this is what has been hap­pen­ing of late. It’s the rea­son I’ve start­ed yet anoth­er side project that will oper­ate on a sched­ule and is on a top­ic com­plete­ly unre­lat­ed to any of my oth­er side projects.
Whilst hav­ing a project sit at the top of my mind is help­ful for work, it’s not always help­ful for me men­tal­ly. I need to be able to cre­ate things just for the sake of cre­at­ing them. It brings me a joy and sat­is­fac­tion that cre­at­ing for a client doesn’t always bring. Eric Lid­dell once said

I believe God made me for a pur­pose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure. 

I’ve nev­er thought about it in that way but I can cer­tain­ly relate to it. Like Lid­dell I believe God made me for a pur­pose, but I know He also gave me a gift of cre­ativ­i­ty and a pas­sion for design. When I use my gift, espe­cial­ly just for the sake of it and not just for my work, I feel His pleasure.
God cre­at­ed the world because he want­ed to, because it gave him sat­is­fac­tion and joy to do it (Gen­e­sis 1 v 31). He enjoyed walk­ing in his cre­ation and meet­ing with the peo­ple he cre­at­ed, which we learn from Gen­e­sis 3 v 9 when God goes look­ing for Adam & Eve. When I cre­ate some­thing because I want to, I feel God’s plea­sure because in some way I am mir­ror­ing Him and that is an incred­i­ble thing.
My God is the God of cre­ation and He has giv­en me the gift of cre­ativ­i­ty. When I use that gift to cre­ate I feel His plea­sure and that’s why I need to firm my resolve to cre­ate for the sake of cre­at­ing some­thing because I want to cre­ate it.