Three creative projects I want to work on this year

For the last few years I’ve had the same three creative projects on my to-do list. I’d like to make some progress on them this year. One is pretty straightforward and has a very clear “finished” end state. The other two projects are less straightforward because I don’t yet know how I want to “do” them so I don’t yet know what either will look like when they’re “finished.”

Make a candle from a bunch of old candles of the same scent

This is the most straightforward project on my list. It’s also the least expensive and requires way less time, thought, effort, and energy than the other two. And it’s exactly what it sounds like: I want to make a candle using the leftover wax from a bunch of old candles of the same scent that I have stashed away in one of my kitchen cabinets. And I want to pour the candle in a new-to-me container that I thrift.

Seven burned-out candles of the same scent stacked in two rows in one of my kitchen cabinets. The candles are LINNEA brand and "vintage" scent.

1923 daily diary transcription

A few years ago I found a “page-a-day” type diary at a local antique mall. It’s from 1923 and there’s an entry for every single day. I want to finish transcribing it and then…I don’t know. There’s at least one fun project in there. I’m just not sure what it is yet.

A page-a-day diary from 1923 opened to the entry for Saturday, January 20, 1923. The entry is written in cursive and in pen that's faded to a green-ish color.

Vintage photos

Around the same time I found the 1923 diary, I began buying vintage photos from antique malls and thrift stores. I know what I want to do with them. I don’t yet know what media format I want to use. We’ll all just have to wait and see.

A basket of vintage photos, mostly black-and-white.

Quit job, start blog

On October 9 I wrote a list in my phone titled “Things I would do if I had the confidence, patience, time, spoons, in-person community to help/support me from day to day, etc.” There are 14 items on that list. The first two? “Quit my job” and “Start blogging again.”

Screenshot of a note in my phone titled "Things I would do if I had the confidence, patience, time, spoons, in-person community to help/support me from day to day, etc." It's time- and date-stamped October 9, 2023 at 12:58 pm. It includes the following 14 items in the following order:

1. Quit my job
2. Start blogging again
3. Learn to skateboard
4. Write the memoir I've spent the last decade wanting to write (or at least, writer a personal narrative essay collection)
5. Start doing "real" photography again
6. Learn to figure skate
7. Take pole dancing classes
8. Go rock climbing and bouldering more often
9. Archery
10. Publish a zine of photos I take of street art
11. Writer that essay about the Virgin Mary and the color blue that I've been outlining in my head for almost 4 years
12. Start memorykeeping again (like IG, but in a physical photo album)
13. Publish that essay I wrote about why blue is the color of cops
14. Finish the essay I started on Glassman, CrossFit, Conservatism, and evangelical Christianity

A month after beginning this list, on November 9, I quit my job. And now, a month after that, on December 9, at way-too-early-o’clock on a Saturday morning because of course the one day a week I don’t have to wake up to an alarm my brain decides I should be up hours before sunrise, I’m starting this blog.

Yes, I caught it: 9-9-9. No, I didn’t plan it (I actually only realized it when I sat down and started typing this out). I also didn’t plan for the first two items on my list to be the first two that I crossed off it—and in the order they’re listed, no less.

I’ve no idea where this blog will go or how frequently I’ll post or how long it’ll last. I do know that this blog will be a personal blog (a long-lost and much-missed relic of the [g]olden days of the internet), hence the title and tagline, and that I’d like to keep this thing going for as long as it feels good and fun.

That last bit is especially important. I don’t want this blog to feel like a job, and I don’t want to feel like anything/everything that I share here has to be “perfectly” crafted. I won’t be following any sort of must-do blogging formula or format (*jerk-off motion*), I won’t be optimizing my posts for SEO, I won’t be plastering this thing with pop-ups or sponsored content or other ads, and I certainly won’t be finding or creating a niche or sticking to one topic.

As was customary in pre-social media personal blogging, I imagine this blog will be a combination digital diary/scrapbook/file cabinet/to-do list/notebook, and will include all sorts of things (hence the “etc.” part of its title): photo dumps, link round-ups, book reviews, personal/creative projects I’m working on, thoughts on parenthood, my experiences as an autistic and chronically mentally ill person, people and things that inspire me, people and things that enrage me, trauma and therapy, activism and advocacy and organizing, COVID (which is still a real big, real bad thing), a record at my attempts to complete various items on my “Things I’d do…” list, etc.

What I’m saying is: I’m going to let this thing become whatever it’s meant to be. And I hope that what it’ll be is place for me to organize and quiet my chaotic brain, which, by the way, feels like this:

Screenshot of a tweet from @pappapeppapig dated December 6, 2023, and featuring an image of tons and tons of open browser tabs squished together on multiple lines and a caption that reads, "brain feels like this." 

This image is truly the most accurate representation of my autistic brain I've ever seen.
Truly, the most accurate representation of my autistic brain that I’ve ever seen.

I also hope this blog will help me find community (I am very lonely), and that it’ll help other people feel less alone in their thoughts and experiences, too. And as long as you’re not a fascist or bigot or other variety of asshole, I’m happy to have you along for the ride. Hello, welcome, thank you for being here, etc.