It’s natural that, over time, we evolve and change and shift, as our perspective changes so do our dreams, as our values change so do our goals. It’s with this in mind, that I’ve started to really consider, and have become very aware, of what this blog actually means to me. What is Clockwork Clouds?
When I first ever started this blog it was a journal of sorts, it was meant to catalogue my thought process at a certain time of my life, and in theory that hasn’t really changed; I still write about a topic that’s pressing me currently, I still write because of something I am genuinely thinking or feeling. Hell, this post itself is a topic that has inundated my recent waking thoughts, it’s a topic I’ve almost obsessed over the past few weeks, and how do I process that? I write about it. To you. Like it or not.
Really my content hasn’t changed much since my blog was first a fledgling. Though, now rather than journal-style ‘Dear Diary, Today was...’ it’s become ‘recently, I’ve been thinking about this‘ and the thought processes and reasoning that go behind that. It’s become less written as a daily account, and more about personal philosophies with the intent of sharing these and adding to discussion. Really, it’s that which I think has marked the biggest shift for me as a blogger; it is, as with all media, about the intent.
What is my intent?
My intent is something seemingly harder to define, but attempting to do so is a learning experience for me. My intent used to be focused on getting me to write more. When I first picked my blog up properly (read: with intent) it was to encourage my writing, to build writing habits, to hopefully improve and follow my once and future dream of being a writer/author. To a large extent, that intent hasn’t changed, but I’ve discovered some extra things as time has gone on.
One is positivity. Not the eternal optimism of “everything will be OK“, and not the unhealthy denial of anything seemingly negative. It’s about Mental Health, it’s about addressing issues, addressing thought processes, addressing standpoints, in a way that can create, or at least precede in creating, a healthy mental lifestyle. Of course, I always write from my own perspective, and I’m backed up by nothing but anecdotal evidence, but I write with the intent of promoting this healthy mental attitude.
For the next, and final, intent I will make a small detour into…
The Art of the Essay
More than any other internet content, I consume YouTube Video Essays. Where I once wasted hours of my day watching admittedly awful things like Top 10 Lists and Nit Picky Cinema Watching (names removed to avoid promotion), I’ve now invested my time into essays that add genuine value (though, often about Films, Video Games, or Photography). These are the likes of Lindsey Ellis, Patrick (H) Willems, Moviebob, Matt Colville (for D&D related needs), Lessons from the Screenplay, Cinefix and many more. (Names included, because they’re worthy of attention). Whilst Video Essays will not be for everyone, especially the topics listed here, for me they’ve been a huge boon. They’ve encouraged me to step away from passively engaging in the content I enjoy, and actively discuss the media we are both consuming and creating. This is something I’ve always enjoyed, this is something I have done throughout all my years reviewing (My semi-professional history as a Video Game reviewer, my current time as casual Goodreads reviewer). It’s also, now that I think about it, what I currently do with my thought processes, my philosophies. I approach my blogs almost as an essay, I write them as a self examination, I write with the intention of communicating an idea, of educating an audience of my position, and of welcoming debate. It’s this sharing of ideas, this open and honest discussion of the human experience, which I find most interesting. After all, “Great Minds discuss ideas” or so they say.
Sharing is Caring
This leads me to the final intent, Sharing. I blog to encourage my writing, I blog to promote the mental health of both myself and others, I blog because I enjoy the examination of ideas, and I also blog to share and encourage sharing amongst others. From typical self examination, it’s this aspect that I really feel I’d like to invest myself in, it’s this intent that I think appeals to me most.
I can blog almost ad infintum about my own perspectives, I can discuss my own principles and investigate my own reasoning. What I can’t do is jump into the mindset of others, at least other than observationally speaking. This also extends beyond the essay, it barrels into the sharing of creative inspiration, of art and the like. For awhile, almost this time last year, I ran Work in Progress Wednesdays, where other Artists (Writers, mainly) shared their ‘Works in Progress’, it was designed to encourage sharing current creations and to inspire others to do the same. It’s similar, in a way, to Joseph Gordon Levitts ‘HitRECord‘, which is all about different artists collaborating across their various mediums. That is an idea I love; the sharing, the helping, the encouraging. This is an idea that speaks to me leaps and bounds; it transcends the selfish and shallow human existence into one of social engagement with a positive message. Is that something I want to do then? Is that a calling almost?
The Future is Nigh
Obviously rivalling Joseph Gordon Levitt isn’t something I’m going to do anytime soon, there’s a few reasons there which I’m sure I don’t need to spell out. What does speak to me though is the idea of collaborating, the idea of getting involved with other people, of branching out from my shell and from learning from others. Really, that’s at the heart of most blogs; they’re stories we’re telling our readers and we’re often asking them to engage (“Over to you! Let me know in the comments below!“). I’d like to encourage that even more, I feel that’s the future I’m aiming for and looking to pursue. The thing is, I don’t know what that future looks like right now. I don’t know how to encourage collaboration or stretch out from anything beyond my Monday Blogs. I would love Guest Posts, Interviews, Challenges, the like, but I’m not sure where or how to start. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to try, I’m keeping my eyes open and brainstorming ideas like those above, it just means it’ll take a little longer than from just this post on-wards. When I have something more concrete, I’ll be sure to let you know, and the likes of my Monday Blogs aren’t going to change anytime soon. As for collaboration, I’m already helping my friend run his absolutely incredible blog (Woods Wanderer – If you haven’t already checked it out) and I’m trying to be more active in my Facebook groups (Shout Out to Pickled Blog Project). I’m taking my time, taking slow, small steps. I just thought I’d update you on where I’m at, what I’m currently driving the blog with, and what I would like it to look like in 2019. I think the best thing we can do is encourage ideas, creativity, and, beyond all else, love.
A Thank You
I just wanted to finish this off by saying Thank you. Thank you for reading Clockwork Clouds, thank you for reading this overly long post especially. I really do appreciate every single reader I get. I appreciate the discussion you bring, the outlooks on life you share, and I would appreciate you reading the blog even if it takes a new form in future. Thank you.