Building my writing habit

Hey everyone, long time no talk.

I don’t really have an excuse for why I haven’t written more. I know that I don’t actually need an excuse – it’s not like anyone is really expecting me to write consistently. This is my own personal blog, after all. But I have to admit that having a creative writing degree and struggling to write consistently is definitely demotivating.

One of the things that I’ve always struggled with in all forms of creative expression is feeling like I have anything really important to say. There are definitely things that I want to talk about and things that I think are missing from common discourse but I struggle with feeling like someone else has already addressed the topic more thoroughly from a more informed place than I have or I simply don’t have enough of my own thoughts composed well enough to create anything meaningful.

That being said, one of the things that I’m trying to do at work is to get into a more consistent writing habit by just writing down my thoughts throughout the day, detailing the tasks that I’m working on and still need to accomplish. Today is my fourth day of doing that and it’s a bit harder because it’s a Monday but the first three days of writing were so successful that I feel that it’s worth continuing to practice.

Some of what comes up really isn’t work related or appropriate though, so I figured that I would resurrect my personal blog and try to continue building out my writing habits here. It’s as good an opportunity as any to practice writing and getting my thoughts all in one place. I’m not going to lie though, there are certain things I’m really going to miss about the Confluence ecosystem that we’re using at work. For one thing, being able to create a task within a blog and have it show up on the task list on my homepage is super neat and could be useful for managing my personal writing tasks too. But I’m sure I’ll find other ways to manage.

Changing my identity everywhere

One of the tasks that I really want to accomplish but feels Herculean at times is changing my identity everywhere. I’ve gone by the name “Pat” in so many places and have used it in so many emails and usernames that it feels just impossible to change it in all of the meaningful places. Heck, it’s still in the domain name for this blog and I won’t be able to change that until I can purchase a new domain name.

I think that one of the things that I’m going to try and tackle today is to change the identity of my Patreon page. I started it to see if I could build up enough of an audience for my coaching services to let me quit GitHub. However, I’ve gotten a new job since that point and the Patreon has taken a back seat as I’m no longer so desperate to find a new source of income. That being said, I’d still like to build up my Patreon page to be able to have a passive source of income to some extent because I’d really like to get out of the tech scene even if I’m still loving my new job.

Ashe recently created an Etsy page to be able to sell their vinyl roller skate toecaps and did some really smart things regarding identity that I think I’m going to take a page from. The most important thing that I feel like they did was to center the identity of their Etsy page around them as a creator instead of limiting their identity by centering it on what they’re creating. This is brilliant for someone with ADHD as this means that as their interests change over time, they can use the same storefront to sell whatever they want.

I really need to do the same thing with all of my spaces because I’ve got the same thing going on when it comes to focus limitations. To be honest, I feel like as soon as I nail something down in any concrete manner, it’s pretty much dead in the water. However, now that I feel confident in my own personal identity, I don’t think that’s going to change in the future. Even if it does, it’s way easier to change my name and aesthetics than it is to change an entire identity based around what I want to create because that’s simply too big of a category.

The United States of America as an Occupying Force

This is one of those things that I think about a lot but I don’t really have the proper language or research to discuss at length. I’m going to take a stab at roughly outlining the idea though, and maybe when I’ve thought it through some more, I can put together a bigger piece around this idea.

The United States of America have a long history of meddling in foreign politics, specifically when it comes to CIA actions to thwart communist and socialist governments and install governments that are friendlier to American trade and colonization. Many of the wars that America has participated in since World War II have been wars of aggression, intervening in world affairs that have very little direct impact on us other than securing resources such as oil.

These aggressive efforts have not only been levied in foreign areas, however. Assassinations have been carried out by the American government against black and communist leaders within the country. American police forces were trained by their military counterparts occupying the Philippines and Afghanistan. Government sponsored violence against Native Americans and Black communities has been constant as long as I’ve been alive and for much longer than that.

The comparisons don’t stop there either. The actions of the American government towards people in poverty and disabled people have exposed their priorities time and again. By denying universal healthcare, economic relief payments, increases to the minimum wage and by criminalizing many elements of poverty, the American government shows that they do not consider these people to be citizens in the truest sense of the word. The American government has by in large created a caste system where there are different distinct levels of privilege and you’re only allowed to participate in certain levels of society based on your caste. Only the most privileged of all have true freedom of movement, education, and opportunity despite all of those freedoms being provided by people who do not have access to those same freedoms.

If the actions of the American government are the same towards citizens of foreign powers as they are towards people who are American citizens in name, that says to me that the American government is not acting like a domestic government but is rather acting as an occupying force within our borders, using fear and violence as tools of coercion. These tools are levied most heavily towards minority communities but the relationship that the American government and its police force has towards white citizens is very similar to the relationship that the German occupying forces had towards British citizens in occupied territories, treating them as equals on the surface but only rewarding collaborators and treating those who disagreed with them as traitors and terrorists.

I don’t particularly have a satisfactory conclusion to these thoughts, but I’d love to hear what you think on the matter. Does any part of this ring true to you as well? Is there something that I’m missing that I should consider?

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