An Ambitious Failure

The decision to stop publishing daily came incredibly naturally. I considered it many times before, often in truly crisis situations. But I didn't give up. It always felt like there was something I still needed to write about.

On April 1st I went out for a bike ride. At one point, I left my bike in the forest and started climbing up a hill. Once I reached the top, I knew; it was time to stop. I've said all I wanted to say in a shorter form. Let's be honest - writing is just a hobby - I can't spend more than 30 minutes on writing per day. So, keeping up the daily schedule would mean almost always short, brief, unpolished posts.

My family was shocked. My friends were shocked. Most of them couldn't believe I just 'ended' it like that. I was supposed to keep going, reach a milestone (2 years or 1000 posts), and then, maybe, just maybe, I would end.

Sometimes we get these tiny nudges, cues to do something. Was this all a snap decision? Definitely. Was it long in the making? Surely. Was it a good one? That's yet to be found out.

At some point during this 683 day long journey, I started to feel like my writing was getting more polished, more professional, sort of. Maybe it was the ever-growing total word-count, maybe it was the twice-a-month-email-from-a-stranger-congratulating-me-on-my-blog. As always, ego grows under the right conditions, and this time it definitely did.

All of this was mostly an illusion. A trick of the ego. Growth perceived outgrowing real growth. Nonetheless, I think I objectively made some quite good progress along the way. I don't cringe at my first posts, but the improvements are certainly easy to spot. Keep in mind English is my second language.

Fanciness is an obstruction

When I decided to end daily writing, I had this grant vision of building a solid writing and publishing workflow. I bought iA Writer for my iPad, created a content calendar in Notion, and moved my blog to Ghost. I said to myself: I'm a real writer now. I have become a professional, so I need to use the same tools as professionals, have a dedicated editing process, have fancy sub-headers, and all that stuff.

I didn't write a single sentence in iA Writer.

Something was just... off. Maybe it was because I had a separate app for writing I wouldn't open very often, or maybe I've gotten so used to Standard Notes that the habit didn't translate to a different tool.

The only post I actually finished during this period, The Burden of Privileges was written in Standard Notes, and then copied to Ghost. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Looking back, this reminds me of when I started getting into photography. I watched tons of photography vlogs, spent hours on gear-related websites, and just thought 'I'll be a real photographer once I get a good camera'. Even though I had a functional compact camera laying around, I 'postponed' a lot of ideas until I saved enough money to buy a DSLR. How fucking stupid.

Guess I didn't know the mantra 'the best camera is the one you have with you' back then.

Tragically professional

'Professionalism' is a made up term. Mostly, it's used as a way to keep power in the hands of the established. What level of knowledge, what amount of reputation does one need to attain to become professional? Is there a metric? Never heard of one.

You can be bad at something after years of practice. You can be terribly good at something after one try. Does that mean you're not professional? Not for real?

Truth is, the 'seriousness' of our word is a product of our own ambition. We cancelled the space for fun, for play. All that's left - is just the strive for professionalism. For plaques, markers of success.

Recognition of ambition.

How to be professional? Do your best work. Forget about the titles.

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It's good to be back.


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