What Am I Using the Scratchpad For?

So! I’ve been a little slow to blog lately. Something in me has ground to a halt about it and in two weeks, there’s been exactly two posts, a few less than my standing record of 21 from July 2020. What’s the holdup? What am I doing with it at this point? How am I even feeling about the concept of having this little place people can check in and see what I’m up to on a regular basis? With the caveat that this could of course change tomorrow, let’s discuss what good the Scratchpad’s done me this year.

When I started the Scratchpad in late 2019, I’d come off of a year of posting more to the group blog than the other Somnolians had combined. It only made sense to have this little outlet valve where I could not only ramble about my ideas, but post updates about my projects and keep any scraps along the way handy and preserved indefinitely. This worked all throughout 2020–rarely a month went by that didn’t at least have a post every 2-3 days, and usually fairly substantive posts too.

Then 2021 happened. I think I managed to brute force my way through 2020 being a gigantic stumbling block to my life by just indulging in any random idea that came my way, and by NoFEMBR, I’d made a big pile of them happen. It’s been diminishing returns though. I had all these projects I started, I had all this stuff to write about–stuff I enjoyed and stuff that felt like a really worthwhile use of my time.

Now, the world’s largely opened back up. I finally went in a store again not that long ago, after a year. I worked in another store for a bit, and I’ll potentially be working there some more! And that’s tangible. That’s not only a place to go during the day that isn’t my bedroom, but that’s money. Saving up. Saving up for a car, and then for plane tickets after that. (I’m a bit late on this stuff, I guess, but I’ve never been concerned about being a little late. I’m going at the right pace for me.) It’s proper, real world progress.

That means seeing my Caby, a girl who I knew I wasn’t gonna see any time soon thanks to the worst timed, weakest, shittiest zombie apocalypse imaginable. I accepted that, and not really for the better. We’ve long past the point at which random fucking people can go “ooh, is she a real girl? Is this a catfish?”, and now we’re just two adults waiting for international travel to go back to normal. Hell, I was talking to her brother on a voice call earlier. One hell of a dedicated catfish. (She hasn’t even tried to bilk me out of money yet!)

To be clear, I never really stopped making stuff. I still love building sites, I still love rambling, I still love my lads–so this isn’t my “I’m shutting down the Scratchpad” post. It’s more just the “I’m thinking about what use I necessarily have for the Scratchpad right now” post.

I think I’ve talked about this before on the Scratchpad at some point, but a lot of the rush to make as many projects as possible wasn’t just having a ton of ideas, but also something to prove. I was coming away from the mid-2010s with abysmal friends and a lot of bad habits, the “any attention is good attention” shtick. At its core, it was all just something to prove, and by and large, I don’t have anything to prove anymore. I wrote a bunch of small stories, and I wanna write bigger ones. I’ve been garbage at practicing regularly, but I have actually been doodling a bit! Something I never really knew when I’d get to, something I figured having my favorite artist in the world peeking over my shoulder would’ve absolutely killed my confidence. It’s all been good. I want to aim higher.

So where does that leave the Scratchpad, where a post can take 2-3 hours of sitting down and focusing to write? Not necessarily the most ideal place. From a cost-benefit scenario, using that 2-3 hours to build a new page in Composer feels far more worth it than dealing with WordPress. Indeed, I’ve actually been working on cammy.somnol pretty frequently lately, just making pages on whatever random ideas come to mind. I made an incredibly goofy fake site in isp.somnolescent.net solely to hide a Seb blog in it–one I’m hoping you guys are checking back in on, ahem. Stuff like that again, really.

With the hope that my time will get taken up more and more, the idea of writing about what I’m doing more than just doing those things appeals less and less. Not saying it can’t happen, but with the detail I usually go into, stuff takes a while.

And what of the more topic-driven blog posts? What about those tape transfers, the MP3.com CD-ROMs I had torrented? Rediscoverings? Ultimately, I’ve just been slacking on those. Of the two tapes to listen through, one’s only 22 minutes long, and the other is a full C60 cassette at just over an hour. I really just gotta go for all of it. It being too hot to think not too long ago threw off my groove, but ideally, this week would’ve been devoted to getting those out the door.

All I can say is watch that changelog page on cammy.somnol. I’ve got some old stories to post, new stuff to post, new page ideas–in general, I’m actually really fond of that site and the aesthetic and the ease at which I can update it, and I wanna build it up some more over this summer. You’ll be hearing more here too, just no guarantees on when and no pressure if I don’t make deadlines.

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