screaming into the abyss

Ahead of your time, until you’re not

Fifteen years ago, I started a blog.

If I remember right, it was called Chameleon Diaries. It was going to be provocative, funny, honest. I wrote, maybe, three posts, but quickly decided I had nothing meaningful to say. I’d barely lived! In fact, at that stage I hadn’t even left my hometown of Nelson in New Zealand except for a couple of small trips to Australia (which doesn’t count). 

So, I deleted it.

A couple of years later, I started another blog. This time it was called The Shining Cuckoo. But I was afraid people would think I had mental health issues. At that point in my life, I did have mental health issues. Anything I might have written would have been therapy. Possibly helpful, but I don’t like being pigeonholed, and people love to typecast.

I deleted that one too then briefly resurrected it five years ago then deleted it again.

Three years ago, I started a health-based blog. I wanted to chronicle my experiences in the world of hormone replacement therapy. It was a free WordPress blog and the trolls did my head in.

You guess right, I deleted it.

Voila! Here I am again, starting a blog.

The difference is, fifteen years ago I was ahead of my time.

Now, I’m not.

I’m way behind.

The majority of communicators out there are creating a podcast, updating their YouTube channel, growing a following through a patronage-based economic model or hosting their own Discord channel. And they’re in their 20s and 30s.

And after a bit of positive self talk, I’ve come to accept that that’s okay.

I’m an introverted Gen X who loves to create, and communicate online. Right now, blogging works for me.

My reasoning runs deeper than this though.

In my work life, I’m committed to ‘surfing the wave of change’ as the incomparable Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn Podcast has coined. I’m committed to working with technology to create; becoming a future curator of artworks, be they interactive stories produced in Unity or other. Technology now has a foothold in almost all areas of modern life, especially in my field which is the Indie publishing space and video games, and I intend to keep up with it all.

But, I believe to my core that the need for embodied artisanship has never been greater. When I sit down to make a collage or fluff around with a sketch, I put my imagination and hands to the test. I physically cut and assemble images from books and magazines found in second hand stores. The experience is tantalizing. Unfettered. The kind of art practice an AI would struggle to replicate.

The same goes with the type of blogging I lean towards. Personal, values-driven blogs written by a human with human emotions about real life. Blogging is an online medium that I appreciate in this hyper-real, hyper-digital world we live in. I enjoy taking my time to read and the quietude of the experience versus someone yapping on at me in their nasal voice.

Besides, social media is a tough place to hang out now. I mean WTAF. I don’t know how to ‘be’ on there anymore. Do you?

I’m excited about this new phase of blogging. The quote: “Start where you are” sits well with me now. No more deleting.

Have you been ahead of your time in any arena at any point in your life? If so, did you follow it through or stop like I did? If the latter, what’s stopping you now? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments section!


  1. Hi Rachel,

    I foundation your blog through Google while I was searching for other peoples inspiration on collage books. And than I stuck around. I like this post. It resonates with me. I too have started a few blogs but I never got past 1 or 2 posts. Ultimatly I didn’t feel I had much to say. Which is anoing because I feel I’m full of something that just is not coming out, I know that sounds weird.
    I totally agree with you about the online space at the moment and all the ways communicators utalize it. I’m in awe but ultimatly I want to read about people. I want to get to know people and countless photography feeds and annoying talking heads don’t do it for me either. So Hooray for the good old fashioned blog by an actual person who is just figuring things out like all of us. That you for writing! I’m here to read.
    PS. I lived in Masterton for a year and love how you say you’re based in Aotearoa!!!

    • Hi Anna, thank you for sharing your experience! That feeling of having something to say but not yet able to say it – I get it. I’m reading The Creative Act by Rick Rubin, do you know of it? It is a beautiful book, incredibly light to hold, and full of wise reminders. Highly recommend ✨ And yay for living in Masterton for a time. Where is home for you?

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