Assorted Cogitations

A Digital Ecosystem

It has been exactly a year since I ever-so-quietly shared our first post on Elosa. Even now, barely anyone – only a handful of friends and family – knows about the site as, apart from quietly adding it to one of my personal email signatures, I haven’t really told anyone about it. It has been refreshing to feel my way with the site over the last year, figuring out what shape I wanted it to take and how this might sit alongside other ideas I had in mind. I have steered clear of making rash announcements about what I am going to do, instead just adding updates or tweaking structures to both Elosa and Lydia Crow as and when I decided to further refine my direction.

It has made being online peaceful again.

Of course, this has also been helped by the fact I no longer read the news, having stopped again in January (I’ve stopped a fair few times over the last few years). Similarly, though I still miss some of the excellent people I met on Twitter, the gentle hush that settled on my life when I closed down my account two years ago has enabled me to listen to what it is I want to do.

Twitter was never a town square to me. It was more of a kitchen table, a place to blether away with friends over a delicious and leisurely meal. And, though it appears I got out in good time before things got really bad, I miss having that sort of outlet for interesting discussions, learning from people and spurring on new ideas.

Over the last few months especially, I have been thinking about how I want to engage with people online again, and which projects I want to pursue. Fortunately, this time around, with Elfi, I wasn’t knocked for six as I was when Auri arrived over four and a half years ago. This has meant that, though time might have been scarce over the last several months, ideas were not. I sporadically filled pages and pages of my notebooks with ideas as and when I could grab a moment to scribble, trying to rationalise what it was I wanted to do, and when I might do it.

Amusingly, just as I start back at work full-time, balancing this with the parenting of two very determined, very young women (and, of course, Scapa), I have decided that the time is right to dip my toe back into these digital waters a little more. I have been thinking about what I called in one notebook, searching for an appropriate expression, my ‘digital ecosystem’: namely, where I would be online, and what would I do there.

I have so many creative ideas, but these have often floundered in early planning stages based on my tendency to build a machine out of them, with no end in sight. More recently, I am content with the fact that not all these ideas need to be big. Hopefully, some indeed will grow legs, and give me an indication of what I want to develop further – but I am looking forward to capturing different thoughts, worlds, characters, and styles of writing, safe in the knowledge that I don’t need to be tied to them forever.

To this end, today I am launching a new series of short, themed projects. I am thinking of these as seasonal notebooks, four a year, each lasting a calendar month. I like this idea, keeping it light and fun, and not getting worn out by the grind of needing to stick with one thing week after week, month after month. I have written more here, should you be interested, and should you want to subscribe. I also have a few other plans and schemes, but I have no intention of sharing those until they feel ripe and ready enough.

Finally, I quietly opened comments again on both Elosa and Lydia Crow a short while back. Commenting on individual sites outwith the major social media platforms fell by the wayside many moons ago, and I doubt it will ever pick up again to the same extent, but it would be lovely to hear from you either by commenting or emailing directly (see my homepage for details).

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