…From Some Other Beginning’s End

This is an announcement I’ve been mulling over the right time for for at least a month, if not longer. After the Rediscoverings are done, I’ll be retiring the Scratchpad.

The reasons are a bit multilayered, so let me revisit why I made it in the first place. Even if stuff sucked in late 2019, it felt like I was going somewhere. I had this constant desire to write posts about what I was up to, personal or creative, because I was busy doing stuff and I wanted a nice, central place to look back on it for years to come. With the way I saw things then, with all the time in the world to explore inanity, the Scratchpad made perfect sense.

Of course, very quickly, my plans got derailed. I tried to carry on, as I explained in “Alien”, but one year turned into two years rather quick. Being stuck aside, I started feeling my age more than ever, and suddenly, talking about some game modding work or a story without any real world progress on a job, a car, traveling to Wales to be with my girlfriend, all that became kinda, and then very, embarrassing.

(This is a component of it I haven’t discussed since it’s so personal, but I’ve also had a lot of people, family and relatives, drop out of my life since 2019. They were, and still are, my only relatively quick way of seeing a world outside of my little desolate corner of Pennsylvania–and they’re not here anymore. That doesn’t help the stuck feeling. Used to leave home twice a year, and I doubt I’ll be seeing NYC again any time soon.)

Priorities shift, and even when I do get up to project stuff, I don’t rush to tell people about it in long-winded paragraph form because I just don’t feel the need to. None of this is to blame the Scratchpad, but I look at it differently now than I did when I started it. It started as a brain dump and rather quickly became a lockdown journal, a record of the effects lockdown had on me and the exact moment when writing for it stopped making me happy.

This year’s festivities have been fantastic. It’s nice seeing the group so tight-knit again, playing games for long hours in the Outposts voice chat and having some new folks on board with us. There’s been a sense of remembrance–why we’re here, what we like doing, and why we like each other in the first place. I think the best way to continue that renewal of purpose–at least here online–is to wipe the slate clean. Take nothing for granted, and nothing for sacred.

I already lead a pretty minimal existence, but I’m obsessed with having less and less. It happens with my creative work–finishing them, getting closer and closer to an empty Trello. It happens with all the crap I’ve got in my room–selling off albums, and finally killing off the Rediscovering pile at long last.

I’ve always envied folks who can do one thing forever–they wake up and they know what they’re doing today. I’m stuck doing everything, and it’s exhausting. I can’t focus in one area for shit, but man, I’d like to. Writing 1,500 word blog posts about what I’ve been up to lately just doesn’t fit anywhere into that, and I’ve felt it for a long time, and now, I know it.

Here’s my plans for the Scratchpad. Finishing off the Rediscovering pile and finishing what I started there. I’d also like to revisit one or two of the real old-school Scratchpad fixations, just to see this lovely little blog off the way it wanted to go. No spoilers, but you’ll be excited when you see them.

After that, I’ll look into generating a static site from the WordPress install I use so I’m not sitting with a mess of PHP I have to keep up-to-date and backed up. I might also move it, though of course with the appropriate redirects–I like my links to stay working. Then, I’ll delete the install–that said, I will export all of my user data so, if I ever start a new daily blog, the Scratchpad will come with it, like I simply never stopped.

Have a happy new year, everybody! It is kind of sad to see it go, but we’ll always have the posts and it can always come back if I feel the urge to have it back, no worries. Like Caby says, gotta make strong decisions sometimes…and speaking of Caby, three years of us soon! Gosh, gotta thank her for sticking with me all this time somehow…

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