Starting this blog was part of a journey to ground myself in the physical world, at a time when I was lost in a digital ocean. I’ve met many awesome people over the last two years and have discovered a love for pen and paper, but I realize that there was more going on behind the scenes than digital overwhelm. The search for the perfect writing tools was an excuse. The pens and paper were inherently meaningless, but it was the potential energy that became kinetic through them that I’d been longing for. I love pen and paper because of what they allow me to create.
It’s been quiet around here for the last few months, but I think of the blog daily and wonder where to take it. In the beginning of 2017, I wrote about the new and exciting seeds of opportunity on the horizon, and I spent the year watering the garden. The novel now sits at 55,000 words, and I hope to wrap it up in December. The new course that I received funding for is actually coming together and fully enrolled. I started a PhD program and have poured ample time into learning the ins-and-outs of educational research (and still have a long way to go). Life is truly coming together in unexpected ways, and I realize that none of this happened because of the pen or notebook that I used.
It's a funny thing when the mind realizes that sitting still is riskier than leaping into the unknown, and 2017 has been a year of leaps. In truth, taking chances was easy at first. Anyone can be brave for a short amount of time. I assumed that putting myself out there would be a one-time challenge, that I would take a chance and everything would fall into place. I found that every new opportunity came with another chance for rejection and spectacular failure. It was through this process that I realized overcoming self-doubt, fear of rejection, and anxiety wouldn’t be a one-time hurdle, but rather a series of small skirmishes in a lifetime war. Instead of throwing in the towel and resigning to my couch and The Great British Baking Show (ok, this still happens on occasion), I spent much of 2017 exploring and re-evaluating my relationship with fear and anxiety. The year was full of reading, reflection, and active experimentation, as well as spectacular personal growth.
How does all of this translate to A Better Desk? I’ve written extensively about new writing tools over the last two years, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’m mostly happy with the tools that I have. I am more excited to put them to use than to continue reviewing new bits and bobs that really don’t add much additional value to my work. But I still feel that there’s work to be done here, and I found a bit of inspiration from my Start Here page, something that I’d written years ago:
Why A Better Desk? Having a better desk means more than using expensive apps, fancy pens, and a complicated paperless workflow. Sometimes it means reflecting on why we work the way we do and why we spend so much time worrying about the things that we can't control.
The answer was here all along, and I plan to broaden the scope of ABD within the upcoming year. This doesn’t mean that I’ll be dropping reviews completely, but I do plan to use the blog as a platform to explore all of the new topics, tools, and strategies that have made my life, work, and relationships more enjoyable. I'm not exactly sure where I'll end up, and I still have a long way to go, but I hope that you’ll come along for the ride.