I originally started this site as my personal, somewhat anonymous online journal. The plan was to write journal entries about the daily happenings of my life. It would serve as some sort of historical record of my life, shared online.
However, as I was going through the digital declutter phase, I've had a few realizations that convinced me to change the focus for this online journal.
- I realized that writing journal entries to my Bullet Journal, a real paper notebook, was a much more fulfilling and relaxing experience. I didn't have to filter myself when writing to it. I could be as candid and personal as I want to be, and I didn't have to worry about who would read it. I wasn't worried about writing something that might offend someone, or jeopardize my career. It was simply a much better writing experience compared to writing online journal entries. This made me question why I needed this online journal in the first place.
- I realized that I was lying to myself when I said, “on this journal I write for myself” and that I didn't care if people read it or not. I do care, otherwise why am I sharing it online? I've learned that I don't care as much about sharing personal stuff online, those I can keep on my Bullet Journal. But the rest of the stuff, like my battle with my smartphone and social media addiction, I feel like those posts could help other people in their own battles. And I think those posts have value and I hope other people read it.
- I ran into instances where I realized that some of the content I posted on here had “value”. By that I mean content that is more than just “personal stuff” or online commentary. Content that I think would be useful to other people. Take for instance my post about the digital declutter rules. Somebody at work learned that I was doing a “digital declutter” and started asking about it. I was going to share to them the rules that I was following, however that would have meant that I would give them a link to this journal. If I did that, then this journal would no longer be anonymous. So I was stuck in a place where I wrote something of “value” and wanted to share it, but could not share it because it would break the anonymity of this online journal.
- I read the book Deep Work by Cal Newport and it has totally changed the way I view what I share online. I again came to realize that maybe sharing personal stuff is not the way to go. If I'm going to use up my time writing posts on here, then I might as well produce something of “value”. Something that I wouldn't mind associating to my professional self.
- Lastly, I realized that I came to appreciate the extra time I had at night because I didn't have to write entries into this online journal. This realization tore me up as I really would like to support this platform, but I also needed to confront the reality that it was taking up my precious time. One of the questions I kept asking myself during the digital declutter phase was, what to do with this write.as online journal if I wanted to keep it?
I was reminded of a post I read months ago, about how as writers, we have a contract with our readers. They will gift us their time, in return we need to provide them something of value, otherwise we are just wasting their time. This coupled with the new perspective I got from reading the book Deep Work has convinced me to change the focus of this online journal.
So here are the changes I'm going to implement going forward:
- I will no longer post daily journal entries. If I do post them, it will most likely be a weekly or bi-weekly post or even a monthly post. I just don't think I should spend that much time writing daily journal entries. There are much more books to read and new skills to learn.
- I will try to focus on sharing tips about productivity, self-improvement and other similar topics. I think that provides the readers more value than my usual personal journal entries.
- In the interest of being able to share some of my posts on here to people I know professionally and personally, this will no longer be an anonymous online journal.
With those changes in mind, I hope that this online journal will begin to provide something of value in the future.