Greg Thinks Things #23

• 6 min read

I’m really struggling. The pressures of homeschooling, working, outside projects and just general day-to-day things is all a bit too much currently, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Greg Thinks Things #23

Hello Friends,

I’m really struggling. The pressures of homeschooling, working, outside projects and just general day-to-day things is all a bit too much currently, and I am not ashamed to admit it. Mainly because I know many of you that I have spoken to over the last few days are feeling this too. The adrenaline that once boosted my energy and lightened my mood is well and truly gone.

That is not to say things are in dire straits, just much worse than they have been for a long time. Creative things are having to take a back seat, and I am really struggling to find any motivation to be social on the web. You will notice my Twitter has had almost all of its 26,000 tweets deleted, and I am now simply crossing posting things from my blog to there.

No Podcasts

Not only am I struggling to find a reason to consume podcasts due to zero commuting and no work traveling, I am also unable to find the time to re-start my own. After putting everything in place to start, and focusing my targets for this year, I simply ran out of diary space and had to shelve it once again.

It could return in some form or another — at least I very much wish it too — but between everything else I have going on currently there is no time for me to do it well. I have already launched and retired it twice before and if I do get it going again I want it to continue for a very long time. Booking guests, recording and editing take up so much time that it was the easiest way for me to fit in all the things I have to do.

Focus on fewer things but do them well.

Thinking About WordPress

After more than a year on Ghost I am starting to think about moving again. Not because I think I am missing out on anything, but because I want to start to bring the many creative things I have going on together and Ghost doesn’t allow me to do everything I want to.

I currently have a POSSE microblog hosted on micro.blog where I post all of my smaller thoughts, ideas, pictures and interact socially through. I also have a ‘main blog’ that I have been posting to for five years or so that has longer and perhaps more in-depth writing on — the one you signed up for the newsletter on. Likewise, I also make the occasional YouTube video, and take a ridiculous number of photos, some of which I post to Instagram. How on earth I combine these things I have no idea!

My current thinking is to move everything to a WordPress Blog and have done with it, however with this comes a much slower site, the inevitable breaking of said blog and also my hatred of working in PHP.

The upside is everything in one place and the abundance of modification and customisation I can make to WordPress. This will also slim down my outgoings significantly, given that I am currently paying for Ghost hosting and also micro.blog premium.

I have always been a big supporter of the open web and independent publishing, so this would feel very much like a move back to something more comfortable. Despite the claims that Ghost is for ‘independent publishers’ it refuses to support anything to do with the open web and is proving difficult to even migrate my content out of it!

Newsletters in 2021

I think this year is going to be a standout year for newsletters. As we begin to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel and start to return to some kind of normal towards the end of the year we will start to see where newsletters are going. They have seen a huge reemergence in 2020, and I think this has something to do with the more time we are spending online and the increased time people have for creating and consuming.

This stand out year will either prove that newsletters are here to stay, or that they are just a blip in the graph. Some will undoubtedly stay due to popularity and the excellent content in them. After all, some have been going for decades! But it is a packed market at the moment, with lots of them asking for money, and the attention they are getting will definitely diminish towards the end of this year.

I am happy to be proven wrong, but services like Substack won’t be able to provide people a free platform forever. As with Medium promising to fix independent publishing and then quickly asked for money from almost everyone once they jumped on board. Newsletter hosts will eventually turn the screws — it’s just a matter of time.

Note: I do really like Substack and have toyed with the idea of moving there, more than once so this is no slight. You can also host a podcast on it so never say never.

Gaming And Me

If you allow me to quote myself in my newsletter:

I don’t play many games. I tell myself that this is because I don’t have time, but really it’s because I have such an addictive personality that I’m scared I’ll lose myself in to it, and I’ve got things to do! — The Non Gamers Guide To Google Stadia

I have had many conversations with Daryl Baxter on gaming over the years, and remember telling him a very similar thought. I’ve tried to resist playing video games as much as possible because I know I will lose myself in them eventually. That isn’t a bad thing, we all need things to do that interest us, but I always felt that sinking hundreds of hours into a game was not something I wanted to do and when I played even a little, it felt like a massive waste of time.

This is obviously completely my issue, and highlights my tendency to give myself a bad time over the smallest things. I simply can’t stay still and relax long enough to play any games anyway!

Then along came my desire to play Cyberpunk 2077 and Google Stadia to save the day. What a breath of fresh air this has been! Being able to play wherever I am, internet connection needed of course, has been a great aid to me being able to just de-compress at the end of the day. I’ve stopped worrying about the time I spend playing because play is an important part of enjoying life, and I shouldn’t feel bad doing it.

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I don’t know for sure, but I think my first blog started in 1996, two years after I built my first website. At that time, they weren’t even called blogs. You’d simply update the front page of your website every day with a few interesting links you discovered since the day before. Add a sentence or

Before I Go

IF you want to help me not have to worry about where I am hosting my things and what my hosting fees are, consider becoming a paid member of my website and help keep me going on 2021.

If not carry on reading as normal, and take the very best care of yourselves my friends.

🤙

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