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So I guess I'm gardening now 🌱
Expanding Thoughts 04
Life has been a whirrrr lately — but that’s how I like it.
Here’s the Cole’s Notes on recent events:
Back-to-school is BUSY (I’m behind, but thriving).
Adventure calls (huge multi-day trek completed in northern Cape Breton — had to put in a 14-hour bushwhack into the night to dodge a hurricane warning lol)
I hit 1000 followers on Twitter (woah.)
Recently fell in love with Obsidian’s new “Publish” plugin.
I’m gonna focus on Obsidian Publish and how it fits into my workflow in this issue:
I used Obsidian for a brief spell as I awaited the “Gates of Roam” to open. It was a dark time that involved a full month of waiting to get Roam access.
A series of tweets about Obsidian’s new “Publish” plugin prompted me to re-investigate the tool. After a brief tour, I snap-purchased a year's membership as a trial.
I really love the idea of a digital garden. But I didn’t want to start up a “learn-to-code” project in order to make it happen. I just wanted to press-go and have one.
Here is me airing some of my desires on Twitter a ways back. (There are still items on the wish-list pending)
This tool is a HUGE step in the right direction. After using this for a year, who knows where I’ll be and how the landscape will change. What I know is that this is the next logical step.
This means more writing and idea mapping. A stronger pull to publishing. A release from perfectionism. A peace-making with many works-in-progress.
Truthfully, the garden will still mostly be for *me* — I want it to be kind messy. Again, a bit of personal psychology to lower the resistance to publishing.
An overview of my content map:
I love expressing ideas on Twitter. The ephemeral nature of the medium allows me to not overthink it. I can share short ideas, medium ideas, or long ideas — by simply adjusting the length of the thread.
Quote-tweeting even allows me to create networks of ideas, and to resurface older ideas.
While I can get some depth, and some networked thought, it doesn't scratch the permanent notes itch.
Personal Website (Blog)
I started one — but never really felt compelled to publish anything on it. It felt like a dusty closet where I'd publish ideas. A storage unit for siloed thought.
While I could explore ideas with more words and characters there — it would feel kinda detached.
(YOU ARE HERE)
I quite enjoy the newsletter! It's like a step above Twitter, and more accessible than the blog.
But it feels *fleeting* — "catch these ideas in this edition or it's gone!"
I'm also not totally over how intrusive a newsletter feels. I'm entering someone's inbox, so I feel compelled to provide value. Add some audience diversity and inconsistent readership to the mix — and I was feeling a path to watered-down and surface-level ideas.
Sending a newsletter still has a place for me — but I suspect that it will be more to *point to* changes and updates within my digital garden.
A truly living environment. Pages change and evolve over time. As my thinking changes — so does my network of notes and ideas.
Ideas can expand, grow, wander and explore. They are free to be tangential and meandering — all paths are able to be expressed in time, without causing distraction for the reader.
A digital garden is a Choose Your Own Adventure, so I can write a bunch of tangents from my existing ideas and the reader can choose to follow the ones that THEY want to follow. The ones that capture their interests and attention.
With this format, I feel that I can freely express the full scope of my ideas — without pandering to the average and regressing to the mean. If I design this correctly (and I intend to), this site should allow me to appeal to a broader audience, while maintaining my authenticity and the depth of exploration that I desire.
This project will be a work in progress — always under construction. But I love that. Ideas are messy. I'll be sharing the **evolution** of my ideas.
Waiting for perfection = never sharing.
Sometimes that evolution will be fast, often times it will be slow — the pace and cadence depends on my creative inspiration (and other commitments).
This is an important development in my personal conception of my creative process and workflow. I can feel the pieces coming together in a way that feels natural.
I'm excited to continue exploring and expanding.
Link to my NEW idea-space: https://publish.obsidian.md/brandontoner/ (custom URL support is coming soon)