Attentiveness

I have never been — and presumably never will be — a proponent of attempts to hack productivity. I find it to be, at best, self-defeating.

Of course, that's one man's utterly subjective and outrageously reductive opinion. Worse, it's an opinion with flaws compounded by the stinging fact that I rarely have a strong handle on my day-to-day obligations.

I preach (and live) an organic and naturalized approach to leading a productive life, but I frequently — as all humans do, I suppose — fail to uphold even the most crucial tasks I've dedicated myself toward.

OneThirtySeven, this weblog, has very much facilitated the professional growth I've undergone over the past year or so. Launched in November 2011, the website has carried me from interested nobody to engaged somebody (albeit with a relatively small reach). And yet, for all of the gains, I fail to find the time to dedicate to this once confidence and happiness-inducing platform.

My attention is most obviously divided between my upcoming startup, Need, and my podcast with Myke Hurley, Bionic. (I also help with WELD, work with startups, and serve as an advisor to a handful of startups, but they pose relatively minor impacts on my day-to-day when compared to Need and Bionic.)  Although those are both, of course, fantastic objects deserving of my attention, there is a distinct feeling of anxiety I feel every time I catch a glimpse of the OneThirtySeven favicon sitting — neglected — in my browser's bookmark bar.

For as much as my other projects are gaining popularity and intrigue, OneThirtySeven was the first and foremost result of my desire to breakaway from the corporate world. It was a naive, fun, and important means for escape. And it's one I've carelessly allowed to fall into inauspicious silence. 

I've written before that I wish to write one long-form article per week here. I've equally made statements of my intentions to never let this site fall into disuse. Obviously, as I write this, I've failed on both accounts. 

Simply put, my professional place is increasingly divergent from the world of independent technology writing. I articulate opinions on Bionic and Twitter, but I rarely have the time to write a lengthy piece about the state of Yahoo! or the latest iPhone. 

Nevertheless, I wish I did. 

I write this not as a resignation or with the intention of garnering empathy. I write it as a means to hold myself publicly accountable for my attentiveness to the properties that mean the most to me. I write it so that you, the reader, might occasionally send me an email or tweet decrying my silence.  I write it so that I, on those days I dare to visit my own quiet weblog, will remember that I have a promise to uphold.

Perhaps I'm simply ushering this piece of prose into a decrepit room no longer occupied by people who care to listen. In fact, I suspect that is, indeed, the case. This outlet, however, has never been about the size of the audience or the quantity of page views. It has been about the catharsis of writing, the joy of spilling my thoughts for others — however many — to dissect, and, most importantly, to meet fascinating people with similar interests.

I fully intend to continue writing here. I don't wish to shutter the site and write on, god forbid, Medium, about trite tips and tricks for marketing your startup. (How on earth do we let people do that in the first place?) I have opinions I wish to share and I have discussions I intend to pursue with all of you.  But I — and I'm happy to admit this — am utterly flawed. This site, too, is utterly flawed. For that, I simply an acknowledge that, yes, both myself and my work are irrevocably imperfect. And I'm at peace with that.

What I'm not at peace with is the passive allowance of such a personally important thing to fall into neglect for the betterment of something newer and shinier. (There's an obvious and grandiose metaphor to be gleaned from this acknowledgement, but I'll save us all the excruciation and allow it to simply sit there quietly awaiting your groans and yawns. )

I don't intend to fall into the mold of virtually all startup founders and start writing about the trials and tribulations of launch a company and raising venture funding. (Hint: it's just the same as doing any other intensive job, but there's far more narcissism involved. Everyone is busy, everyone faces daily struggles, and pretending entrepreneurial endeavors are exceptional is reductive.) I want to write about topics that matter to all of us, rather than taking the easy route towards meaningless page views.

For all of this verbosity, I simply mean to state publicly that I intend to do what I love — regardless of what ramifications it might pose — and write. I don't know how I'll manage that, but — and I say this to myself — I promise I'll try.