A pause, for now, on weekly journal updates

Hello mysterious internetter! As you may or may not know, around when I started this digital garden I began sharing public journals of my life here on a weekly basis. These were generally drawn directly from my existing weekly logging and personal review process, and generally would highlight notable happenings, thoughts, insights, etc. in my life. I decided to share them publicly in the hopes that these things would interest, inform, and perhaps even inspire others, or at least help them know they weren’t alone in their little struggles and triumphs, their questions and uncertainties, insights, ideas, etc. And I hoped as well to get some feedback on some of these questions, ideas, etc. in my life, and maybe even meet new people along the way.

I would say that in general it was a very successful experiment! I did meet some new people, I got some interesting responses, and the very process of expanding on and editing my generally more summarized weekly insights helped me to see some of my own thoughts, experiences, etc. in a new light at times. Journaling on its own is probably one of the most powerful and valuable practices I have adopted in my life to-date, but sharing some of that publicly had its own benefits and unique outcomes.

That said, it was a bit time consuming, added to my regular weekly review, to cull, and then expand on my reviews to make them (hopefully) more interesting and relevant to people. I went through various approaches, some lower effort than others, but ultimately I felt like actually trying to write a bit of my “meta thoughts” about each item was going to be the most of interest to others, rather than a terse and potentially unclear summary of something personal without context. So that took some extra time and effort. But perhaps more importantly, it just ended up feeling like “work” a lot of the time, or at least like an obligation. I think there was some value in making it a practice and a commitment in itself, and I stuck with that for a good while (over a year), but lately I’ve begun to feel like it’s not really serving me as much. At least now where I’m at right now.

I also ended up feeling like putting work into the journal updates took up most of the energy I had for writing here at all, and that was never my intention for this place. A series of journal updates is not my ideal “digital garden”, and I really do want to continue my experiments in “planting new seeds” as well as “tending” older ones and “growing” them. If nothing else I think that may be of more personal value to me. I continue to maintain my logging practice for myself, and in a way that I have honed over the years, and serves me well without taking up tremendous time. So I’ll still get value out of that. But while I do maintain a lot of my own notes around ideas, questions, etc., similar to some of what I share here, I also think the practice and process of revisiting and improving content here has its own, unique value.

There is this sort of “liminal space” between totally private, and totally public and “meant for consumption”, that my concept of a digital garden sort of occupies. The idea of sharing freely because of a clearly understood and shared context of imperfection, incompleteness, ongoing evolution, etc. That is what excited me about building a digital garden in the first place, and I’d like to work on returning my focus to that.

I hope I’ll still get regular visitors, people engaging with my thoughts and ideas, and perhaps even collaborators. I encourage you to reach out, let me know if my public journals were interesting or helpful for you, or if you’re excited about a return to the more thoughts-and-ideas focus that I’m going to aim for. Or tell me your own ideas, I’d love to hear them! This place is a flexible context for interesting things to happen, and I welcome people trying to make them “happen” with me.

I may one day return to sharing my journals. I know I’ll maintain the personal practice that always lay behind them, so in a way it will be easy enough to pick up again any time. It’s just a matter of energy, inspiration, and time to put into it, and how much value I feel I and others get out of it. For now, a pause and a refocus. Thanks for reading and going on the journey with me thus far!