While I didn't/don't want this blog to be yet another of my sites, pages, and/or posts about little more than my online writing endeavors, I did/do want it to be a, central, online, "home-type-of-thing", blog for my online writing. In order for it to function that way for me (or for anyone who happens to find it), I do need to spend a couple/few days organizing here. Here's why:
What I have out there (at least with all this free-time stuff I've been writing since around 2005, I think) falls mostly in one of a few categories - 1) serious but casual non-fiction, 2) serious and less casual non-fiction, or 3) lighter and casual non-fiction, or 4) completely silly non-fiction. Of those groups some pieces of writing have made the cross-over to "a little more serious since I'm earning income from it".
When I first got involved with online stuff it wasn't with the idea of doing anything other than a) dusting off my skills with on-demand writing and b) finding offline or online work by signing up with job placement/job match sites. Then there were also "project match" sites. So, focusing on all of the things while also aiming to dust off the "on-demand" skills, I'd use either blogs or revenue-sharing "writing sites/platforms" that invited members to "write what you want to write". Not only did they add a new dimension to how I was spending my writing-focused/work-focused time, but as I wrote more and more (on one site or another), the online writing endeavors started to blur the line between what was "business writing" and what was "for-me writing". In any case, I won't get into all that yet again (I've gone into it time and again on any number of other my pages/blogs.) The point is what's out there is a mess.
Although I would not have anticipated the ways in which, and rate at which, the whole "Internet-writing picture" has changed over the years, the one thing I was sure of was that Internet was not going away. Neither was my interest in writing the kind of stuff I wanted to write. Without any real plans for the online stuff that I didn't have enough time for, I didn't see any number of things as a big emergency. I just figured I'd set up a framework for things to be better developed/polished later.
Anyway, over the years I've built up a "collection" of blogs of different types and in different stages of development (which, in pretty much all instances, remains "not-very-far-along-at-all"). Some of those blogs were started with the aim to take a "serious" (professional, as a writer) approach to them. Some I started with the idea of taking a more casual approach. Some have remained on completely private settings (and probably will) because they have their own separate purpose.
Basically, I had it in my mind that when I wasn't looking for or finding at least a little work (full-timetime was what I wanted, but short-term or one-time was better than no-time), I'd use the left-over free time to figure out how to build something out of nothing (and I do mean "nothing"). It wasn't really that I particularly wanted to build something out of nothing (or even sort-of-something-ish, at least for me). It was just a matter of "here's the Internet. Here's me, writing, and the rest of my life. What do I do about any of those things?"
Anyway, I'm not really one to use the ages-old "thing", "today is the first day of the rest of my life". Then again, it's not an concept that's lost on me either. So, when one is faced with a big pile of nothing it can just make sense to take whatever "scraps" one can come up with and start building a foundation for something (or "something-ish"). Sometimes one can start by building that foundation "out" and expanding it. Sometimes one can build different sections and/or start building up.
My thinking was that as long as I was building that foundation, layer by layer and/or stack-by-stack I could always perfect some things before continuing. Again, none of it was emergency anyway.
With other things in my life far more of a concern to me than the online writing stuff, I was (particularly when it came to blogs, but even with some of the revenue-sharing stuff that was actually bringing in some income) looking at a deadline of "at some point during the rest of time".
No-deadline or not, I did know that there might come a time when it became clear what the next steps in "foundation-building" needed to be. I can't put into words how many times I've had to fight off the seemingly overwhelming urge to knock down the slowly progressing "foundation", or how many times I've thought about how stupid it is to keep working away at building a "foundation" with (essentially) bricks made of "crud". Then again, what the heck difference does it make if one is only aiming to "build" something for one's own purposes and free time?
On an Internet so full of crud how much of a big perfectionist did I need to be anyway?
So, every once in awhile I'd go around to one blog or another or one site or another and see if I couldn't at least polish up a little something (even if it was still crud). That was enough to fend off the urge to delete everything and either start clean or else just type up stuff and store in a hatbox (as if I own a hatbox, but I could find one somewhere.....).
Besides, some of the stuff was more hatbox material than some of the other stuff. The other thing is that, crud or not, a decade-or-so's worth of efforts can be a lot of work. I was actually kind of proud (at least to myself) that while other people waste all kinds of time doing some fairly non-constructive things in their free time, I had been spending mine doing something that was (at least for me) constructive in some way; and in the process, I was also becoming more and more familiar with not just the Internet, but with all the ways in which it has evolved for writers and/or content producers.
And, while I wasn't interested in making a "big career" out of Internet writing/content-producing, I had familiarized myself enough with some of the basics of the "business angle" to online writing that I at least knew what I needed to learn more about in the event I suddenly become interested in something that didn't interest me as long as I didn't need it to.
In any event, within the contexts of "rest of all time as deadline" and "anything goes on the Internet", whatever half-baked/incomplete "foundation" I've been building needs some major fixing up, overhauling, updating and/or knocking down.
On the one hand, at least with some stuff, there is at least a thread of some kind of continuity. On the other hand, one "thread of continuity" is that many things are old and/or have been recycled a "zillion times" (not to mention having been written at points in "Internet-writing evolution" when they wouldn't be seen as "crud" or "half-crud"). So many things aren't just well worn and/or recycles (or even stolen), but are/were things that I don't want to look at any longer.
In some ways, and with some things, I'm at reasonable peace to just leave them where they are as long as I know exactly what I'll be doing with them next. Some things I can easily delete provided I move some of the contents first. Actually, the seemingly out-of-control and strange foundation that has been built up to this point isn't entirely as out-of-control as it may appear (even to me).
The challenge for me hasn't really been one of needing to either knock down or else build up to "perfection". Instead, what's needed at this point is a way to both start clean AND connect some of the things that shouldn't be "knocked down" (deleted). That means separating "past" from "present" (or "future" (writing), while still incorporating some "past" (but clearly indicating it) with some "present".
It also means filling in enough existing gaps (wherever they are) so that, for once and for all, there's a finished enough foundation on which to build a newer level.
Of course, I've always had plans to further develop some blogs as material (and/or at least "polish") has been added; and I've always had plans to either move, delete or consolidate some, depending on how material has built up (or not built up). The problem, I now realize, is that progress with things on that level has been slowed because I've had no well established "present" into which I can move some of the things.
It goes on and on.... (and could I and have I)
With more and more time, however, also comes new material to write. Ironically, as new material for writing has continued to build (but not the writing that will eventually go with it), what has become clear is that I've been at a stand-still when it comes to so much new material because the new material is far more complicated than any of the older stuff I've written. (Maybe that's because we can get to a point in life where we've written about everything we can think of to write about, so the only new stuff to write is stuff that happens as time goes on.)
My aim is not to be "an Internet person". My aim is to leave in reasonably good order whatever material I decide to leave and then keep, maybe, one blog as that "central type of thing" I mentioned for those times when or if I feel like adding something. For now, that's this blog.
AND, in the meantime, with glaring gaps between what I want to write now (with new material that has built up for years now) and any way to present that material in a way that makes sense, as well as doesn't look like even more crud; guess what has finally become clear to me: The need for at least nine additional blogs!
I remind myself once again that sometimes when there's a big, complicated, bunch of stuff to be put in order, there's the need to make a bigger mess before finally getting everything in order. Yes, that's what I'll remind myself about (at least for now). Time to go find some music to listen to (or something)....