This blog needs focus.
When I discovered the World Wide Web in the early 1990s (AppleLink! eWorld!), the virtual frontier was free for the taking and I claimed a chunk just because I could. I published a website where I could prattle on about whatever was on my mind by publishing a website just because I could. I moved on to to begin publishing a blog—oscillating between Blogger and WordPress—just because I could.
Just because you can do something doesn’t make it worth doing. I have taken the Internet for granted for too many years and squandered too many opportunities.
I’m not getting any younger. I’ve started to wear reading glasses to see more clearly and probably need to visit a good eye doc soon to help me keep my sight in focus. I also realize it’s time for me to give something valuable back to the Internet that has given me so much.
I enjoy a wide range of topics, but few really excite me. You may think they seem unrelated at first, but stick with me a minute and let me show you how they sync up.
- Public education
- Software and technology that helps me write and be productive (especially Mac software)
- Writing, and writing about writing (metawriting)
I’ll refine my definitions of these different areas in a series of future posts.
This doesn’t mean I’m going to publish a bunch of tips or lists telling you how to be a more productive writer. If you see me trying to do that please whack me in the head. Everyone is different and there is no magic bullet. Let me repeat that.
There is no magic bullet.
The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will understand the direction I am taking this blog. I believe the title Carrying Stones still fits my vision for the site so I’m keeping it. I will also continue to maintain two sites that reflect different interests.
- This site, Carrying Stones, will continue to publish my original writing and longer reflections about relevant topics.
- Terrazzo (formerly Stuff I Read) will be my version of a linked list, a collection items that catch my attention online. Some of the links may be geeky, silly, and maybe even a little offensive, but in some way entertaining to me.
- I’m also kicking around on Twitter as ELBeavers.
This blog is going to be a learning process for both of us—author and reader—because I so do not have this stuff figured out.
The content I read and podcasts I listen to cover a lot of ground. The list below isn’t comprehensive, but gives you a little insight about some of the people who influence my work (and who those close to me are forced to hear about:
- David Allen (@gtdguy) on Twitter
- Dan Benjamin (@danbenjamin) founded the 5by5 Podcast Network
- Seth Godin publishes an excellent blog
- John Gruber ([@gruber][jgt]) is a writer who publishes Daring Fireball. He also wrote Markdown, which is the only markup language I use any more.
- Merlin Mann (@hotdogsladies) is a writer who publishes 43Folders.com and other stuff. He collaborates with Adam Lisagor (@lonelysandwich) and Scott Simpson (@scottsimpson)to produce the podcast You Look Nice Today, which I think is the funniest thing ever.
One more person, Brett Terpstra (@ttscoff), isn’t as much of an influence as he is an inspiring totem of productive geekery. I stand in slack-jawed awe of this guy who accomplishes more in a couple of days than I ever do in a couple of months. He writes about his work and shares most of it at his website. He is the lead developer of Notational Velocity variant nvALT.