I'm back to asking what's important for my life to feel enriched.

Looking at my tools, rereading my Deep Work summaries (and likely reading "Digital Minimalism"), and trying to clean up my files somewhat makes me want to trash everything and start over.

But there's good stuff there that I want to get back to and everything that's happened since last March is keeping me from reclaiming any motivation to touch any of it.

Do I let it go, stick it in a virtual cardboard box and start over? What comes with me if I Konmari the shit out of my digital/intellectual life?

I want a single interface, a single pipeline, but my interests and "audiences" don't support that in a way that "protects" either my career or my personal life.

I'm an author, a software engineer, and then I'm also just me. Three separate voices, three separate streams of thought and not much in the way of overlap.

I would merge them all, but something tells me that's not wise. I have a reputation among the first two versions of me that needs to be maintained to some degree.

Bah. This is a perpetual struggle for me that means I end up not actually doing much of anything on any of these fronts from pure indecision.

I trust the answer will present itself eventually.

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One thing I'm hitting against is that I've spread myself across a couple different platforms that don't talk to each other.

Some stuff is on self-hosted Wordpress, some on netlify-deployed Jekyll. So if I switch my WP sites to take Markdown, I can at least WRITE in one place and then copy/paste as needed.

That might help as I'm trying to get all of my writing into a github repo in markdown.

Potentially, I could swap out the WP sites for Jekyll. I'll see if there's anything "special" about them that makes them worth keeping and what the level of effort it would be to make the switch.

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@pixelpaperyarn Big sympathies there. I feel split across several different networks, and it feels awkward and hard to keep up with. I've been managing by just acknowledging it's not going to be even and letting myself get flaky on them sometimes. I don't love that strategy.

@epilanthanomai Thank you for the sympathy and right back at you.

I have this happen to me once a year or so, but usually it's a passing thing. I'm struggling more on this because it's been going on the whole pandemic (reasonably so for most of that and I cut myself ALL the slack). It's the duration that's really bugging me.

@pixelpaperyarn That makes sense. I think mine's been especially frustrating for me, but mine I think is a sign that I usually distract myself from it in unhealthy ways, and now that those ways aren't available to me (because pandemic) I'm actually needing to deal with it. I'm taking that as my "coming out stronger" motivation anyway, so if it's not true then it's at least a comforting lie for myself ;-)

(hoping that doesn't come across as preaching, just sharing my own processing <3 )

@pixelpaperyarn I've struggled with this as well. What I found that worked for me is asking myself if I'm leaving space for ghosts. These are things that used to be something I was interested and might at some point be interested in but aren't really something that excites me anymore.

Sometimes packing things up and leaving them in-state is good for us. Realizing that something that used to be a big part of our identity but is no longer relevant can be liberating for new and interesting ideas.

@pixelpaperyarn There's a fear that if we let things go that they'll deteriorate or that we'll somehow lose that part of us. It's up to us to interrogate our beliefs and determine if that is true or not. Most of the time it isn't true. Many times I found I was doing something because of inertia, or held on to some project because I thought it was the thing to do. By being critical about what is still true and relevant I managed to uncover things that resonate more powerfully for me.

@pixelpaperyarn Also having that trust in yourself to make the right call based in the information you have is important. You don't have to be perfect all of the time (you can't be perfect all of the time). You can be messy. You can be different things depending on your mood and desires.

I hope this helps out. Feel free to ping me if you want to talk about this more.

@craigmaloney You touched on so many of the underlying reasons that I'm struggling with this. Thank you.

It's the pandemic-long duration of this round of inertia (most of which I totally cut myself slack for) that's really bugging me.

You mentioned ghosts, which is interesting because before I started posting, I had created a "ghost projects" folder in my notebook and started moving some things there. Ghost of Done is a concept I've always appreciated, but maybe need to embrace more fully.

"that we'll somehow lose that part of us" - This is so resonant for me. It's like I have parts of my conscious self digitized and if I don't water them regularly, they wither out there in cyberspace. I think this is what drives my desire to pull it all back into one space.

Honestly, if I could POST and READ from one space, I think it would matter less how many tendrils I have.

@pixelpaperyarn As someone with multiple aspects, I really found joy with setting up Git repos with my blogs and stories and then just writing code to pull it together. I have twelve sites roughly grouped under four categories, each one has the same setup in terms of Markdown, a SSG, and Gitlab setups including deployment schedules.

It's seems to have worked for me in the last five years, though one site is always getting a refresh that slowly rolls through the others.

@pixelpaperyarn My writing is pretty much the same. :) I have one Git repo per novel and one for all the stories. The SSG pulls in them all and creates pages out of them.

But, when I start a project (I even set up a Yoman generator), chapters go in `chapters/chapter-??.md`, description goes in one file, metadata in another.

That way, there is no orientation needed. One consistent pattern in the way I work. :)

@dmoonfire This sounds interesting. What’s an SSG in this context?

@pixelpaperyarn Static Site Generator. I started with Jekyll, then moved to another one, then another, got frustrated that each one required so much custom code, so I write my own (Cobblestone JS), but then got tired of maintaining that for six years, so I switched to Gatsby JS, but then I got interested in Gemini protocol but Gatsby is the diametric opposite of that, so I'm in the process of switching sites to Statiq in hopes of having something that works.

Take all that and call it SSG. :)

@pixelpaperyarn My desire to make as comprehensive as possible as an author site has caused me a few problems. :D

Mainly the pulling in dozens of other Git repos and merging them together seamlessly bit.

@pixelpaperyarn Now, the constantly changing bit might be worrisome, but that's me.

I'm always looking to improve a process and I'm looking for something *specific* to how I work.

I don't know anyone else who works with the degree of metadata I do while writing or does as much meta-writing. I'm sure there are others, but it seems to be uncommon at best.

I also like to try things out to decide if I like them or it has something that works.

@pixelpaperyarn I also integrated the same input files into the actual hardcopy and EPUB generation. So, those Git repos drive everything: website, ebooks, print, metadata for crosslinking, custom calendars, geolocation (eventually).

@pixelpaperyarn I tend to oscillate on this every five years or so....

I'll go through a process of consolidating online identities and linking them together. Merging blogs and accounts under a single public name.

Then I'll decide after a couple year that that is a bad idea and start to differentiate them into professional, personal (public), an personal (pseudonymous) identities again.

I've been rounding the curb on consolidation lately and am starting the swing back towards separation.

@lordbowlich glad to hear it’s not just me! i’m on the swing towards consolidating for sure. though keeping my resume and dev stuff separated is perpetual because i’m a PROFESSIONAL. 😂

@pixelpaperyarn This is what has led me to (1) have multiple fedi accounts but also (2) have a desire to write a client that lets me handle them (especially reading all my follows) in a single place.

Neither of those is really "simplifying" though.

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A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.