9rules has eaten my content

The observant of you (at least of those of you who actually visit the site and don’t just read it via RSS) might have noticed a few colourful leaf logos sprouting around the place. So far that is the only change that has been made to Bright Meadow to make my new lords and masters happy and I don’t anticipate any more changes either. I got the member agreement to sign last Saturday and access to the promised land (forums) on Monday and it has been a real eye-opener of a week as far as I am concerned.

Now it is one thing to be told “we have the best content on the web, we have the best people on the web”, and quite another to suddenly be surrounded by these people who are witty, smart, motivated, and in a league of their own. I’m not sure why I am surprised, especially when you consider that the people already in the network were the driving reason behind me wanting to join in the first place, but I’ve never been one to think through the consequences of my actions. Choosing where I did my undergrad by sticking a pin in a list sure gave a certain frison of excitement to the whole experience, but also led to three years of being mildly depressed by the pervasive greyness of the North. It also probably wasn’t the wisest thing I ever did, getting into a relationship with a guy bare months before he had to leave the country, but at the same time I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Not thinking things through has a history for me of either working out shockingly badly, or abso-fucking-lutley brilliantly.

I didn’t really think through this whole 9rules gig. Oh sure, I agonized endlessly over whether I wanted to get in, but I didn’t think further to what came after. Mainly this is because I honestly didn’t think I stood a fluffy-kitten-in-hell’s chance of getting selected, but also because of my afore mentioned inability to plan things through.

So here I am, suddenly a member of the network prided on having the best content and people around. This begs to make you infer that I am one of the best. Only, I compare what I’ve done here with what is essentially a personal blog, with what other people have done – redesigning Flock is only the latest in a long line of things that spring to mind – and I find myself lacking. I’m now gonna be standing alongside the movers and shakers of my digital world and find myself unable to give even a little wiggle.

As if I didn’t have a rather robust inferiority complex already.

I feel mildly guilty about the post I made last night about the Moving Pixies (reference being to the pixies that lived in our old office and came out at night to mess things up). It was pants and I knew even as I went to sleep that I shouldn’t have posted it. I threw it together in five minutes flat from a germ of an idea I had had at lunchtime and, well, you saw the resulting mess. Still, the post will stand as a testament to something Dewayne and Rob talked about in the comments of last Sunday’s Roast – the need to spend time over what you write.

Time, alas, is one thing that has been sadly lacking this past week. I have found myself engrossed, reading the words of fellow 9rulers (the day I don’t get a buzz out of saying that phrase is the day I leave), getting involved in conversations, and generally just marveling at the caliber of people 9rules has managed to gather under its banner. I’ve been inspired to write constantly this week but whenever I sit down at the keyboard I find myself lured away by the bookmark to the forums. Every day this week I’ve been merrily surfing away, chasing down links and thoughts, only to catch a glimpse at the clock and notice that it is near 1 am and that I have to be up at 6.30 for work. This leaves me with one option – scribble the idea down and pray that I will remember what I wanted to say when I finally get back to it. The orange post-it notes are rapidly covering my pin board.

Not that all these ideas buzzing around my skull is a bad thing, but is unusual for me to have so many ideas hanging around in the green room. And I love it.

illyna turned round to me today and said “so basically your complaining because it is too good?!”

Yes, yes I am. I am suffering from a chronic lack of sleep and it is all 9rules fault. The posts this past week on the blog have, frankly, sucked and (again) I know firmly who I am blaming. I look at what I’ve achieved so far and am proud at how far I’ve come, then I look at what’s around me and sigh because there is so much more I could be doing.

This isn’t a call for “oh, don’t be silly Cas, Bright Meadow is great” comments (though a few would be nice every now and then πŸ˜‰ ). It’s an honest evaluation of the situation as I see it. I don’t blog for profit. I don’t blog for work. I got asked a time or two when I was thinking about submitting why I wanted to join a network and at that time it was a question I couldn’t really answer. I decided it was something I would have to try before I knew either way.

I remember the conversations we used to have in the courtyard last year. The sun was shining, we were armed with endless cups of tea, and we all had a seemingly never-ending capacity to find things to talk about so we didn’t have to go back to our respective research. So many ideas got kicked back and forth, many goof-ball, many more that made me question my world. I didn’t just get a tan whilst we were sitting out there avoiding work, I learnt new things, and more importantly had an absolute blast doing it. At the same time, in the midst of all this seemingly irrelevant chatter, I found ideas for my own research crystalizing and I saw new and exciting avenues of investigation opening up.

It’s early days yet, but already I get that same feeling around 9rules. Fun, because even the serious stuff should be fun, but in the background scarily intelligent and driven people kicking ideas around. Yes, they’re mainly making it up as they go along, but they make it look easy. I am in awe. These are people I admire and, perhaps more importantly, respect. I’m realizing I don’t need any other reason to be in a network. Blogging alone is great but every now and then it’s nice to know there’s someone out there who will get your back should you need it.

Call me silly, but I’m taking this as a call to step up my game.

26 thoughts on “9rules has eaten my content

  1. If it helps any I think I am also suffering from the 9rules post analysis block syndrome. Your posts even the moving one are worthy and so are you – otherwise you wouldn’t have got in. That is the simple fact you have to hold onto and just do more of what you’ve been doing. I saw the flock post whilst staring at a small business e-shot I was doing and had a moment of ‘provincial webby’ syndrome.

  2. Welcome to Bright Meadow Tammie πŸ™‚
    I know logically that I must be worthy because I got in, but I am having a hard time believing it. Perhaps this feeling of self-worth will come with time. Knowing me it won’t but wouldn’t it be cool if it did?

    Join 9rules – it’s great if you have low self esteem!

  3. I get it all the time that feeling of unworthy – in particular as still scratting around doing freelance job by job as 30 when there are so many half my age (it seems) doing better. I just keep head down and remember it’s not how quickly you do the race but where you end up lol.

  4. It’s a hard job Mike, but someone has to do it πŸ˜‰

    I’ll stop grumbling soon, promise. I’m just v. tired, grumpy, and mildly sunburnt right now, so moaning seems good to me πŸ˜€

  5. Pingback: 9rules Featured

  6. You guys are so cute! πŸ™‚ I know exactly what you mean. I felt the same way when I was accepted. Still do sometimes, especially when Scrivs and I have this “thing” of writing about the same topic at the same time…when we haven’t spoken. You have no idea how many entries I tossed because of that. πŸ™‚

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I better get back to placing sites in communities before 115 new members get mad at me. πŸ™‚

  7. This was an amusing read and I definitely know where you’re coming from. In fact, I’m still there, believe it or not. Having been apart of the network for about 7 months, you’d think that feeling would have worn off by now.

    When I was excepted I was actually getting pretty stressed about keeping the “quality content” flowing. About 2 weeks earlier, I had relaunched my site as part of the CSS Reboot and I went from getting about 7 unique hits a day to 700. Looking back at my archive, it shows as November 2005 was my busiest month, post wise.

    I’m definitely not stressed about it any more, but for sure still have quality concerns in the back of my mind. Pretty sure it’ll always be there and I’m convinced that it’s a good thing to want to keep pumping out the good stuff. As long as it doesn’t put you in a rut, you’ll be fine. I still rant and rave from time to time and those posts have just as many comments or more than some of my reviews and articles.

    Was there a point here? Maybe you can find it? πŸ˜›

    In any case, welcome to 9rules! Oh, and you too, Tammie and Brian.

  8. yet another reason to make me wonder why I bother with my little blog that only about 3 people read… infrequently. The Moving Pixies post is about 20x better than anything I ever write. πŸ˜›

    I’m going to put on orange post-it on your mirror for you to read every morning,
    “I am an excellent blogger, I am worthy of 9rules” (repeat 10 times)

  9. (I did it again – I was thinking so hard about what I wanted to say in response to these comments that I walked straight past the supermarket. I should have been born blonde).

    Well if ever I was in need of the warm fuzzies, the comments on this post have just given them to me.

    I did decide a long time ago my inferiority complex was a good thing for my life – keeps me laughing and from taking myself too seriously – I hadn’t realised it was a good thing for my blogging as well!

    A few individual responses:
    Tyme – I think we’re all still too in awe to get mad. That, and in no way envious of your task. Good luck, and I promise to be patient to find out where my new home is going to be πŸ˜€

    Brian, Tammie, Matt – I’m so glad I’m not the only one. I’ve decided it’s scary, but scary in a good way.

    RIB – have you never heard of suntan lotion? Seriously, lobster boy is never a good look on you sweetie. Though yesterday was hot enough to get me mildly pink through factor 20 so perhaps you’re excused a bit. I now look all brown and have a ‘healthy glow’ apparently (with strap-marks because it wasn’t really the sort of BBQ I’d have felt comfortable sunbathing topless at πŸ˜› )

    Bruce – I know! You could have knocked me down with the proverbial when I saw that. Still grinning from ear to ear πŸ˜€

    Moose – thank you πŸ™‚ (See, I’m learning to take compliments gracefully).

    And welcome everyone to Bright Meadow πŸ™‚

  10. Cas – I got the sunburn on Thursday, where it barely reached 20 degrees, and I was wandering around the Tower of London, so I was in and out of buildings all day. I was going to put lotion on, but a sudden change in plans meant we were going to London rather than our original plans, so it was a quick grab of stuff and run down to the station for the next train. I even have blisters on my neck and arms.

  11. I so get where you’re coming from on this one Cas. As a new member I too am feeling a heady cocktail of both elation at being included and minor panic that I will be unable to live up to the 9Rules rep. I guess ultimately we must keep these things in the back of our minds (if possible) and just get on with doing what we’ve always done. Clearly that’s what got us here in the first place. Btw – I’m really enjoying your posts which I may not have found were it not for 9Rules so if nothing else I’m grateful for that.

  12. Thank you, and ditto – you’ve taken some truly beautiful pictures. My poor feed reader doesn’t know what’s hit it, I’ve subscribed to so many new blogs in the last week. All good stuff πŸ˜€

    Welcome to Bright Meadow πŸ™‚

  13. I’ve had the same issue since being accepted. I haven’t written a new review in a week! I spend all of that time reading neat things about personal finance, design, religion, and kart racing. Thank goodness I set up my reviews a couple weeks in advance.

  14. Welcome to Bright Meadow Abi, and I’m jealous – it normally takes me so long to write one post for here that it just isn’t feasible to write them in advance.

    I had planned to write a few this weekend to act as backups, but the weather got in the way πŸ™

    Good job I enjoy writing really πŸ˜€

  15. I’m facing the same problem, but you are ahead of me as you were able to write this post while I’m still reading…

    I’m still spending too much time on 9rules and as you said once I sit behind my computer to write or finalize a post (I have over 4 drafts in my WP) I just get trapped in the clubhouse all over again.. but for sure it is a positive thing as long as I’ve got the chance to meet all these “best people” and be “in” the community, something that make me think a lot if I’m worthy to be among?

    Last thing.. congratulations for being featured on 9rules.. as I told you, you are at least a step ahead πŸ˜‰

  16. There used to be Sundays when I could hit the 9rules forum and get … nothing. Nobody had posted anything, was in church, outside and/or altogether getting a life.

    That’s over and done with now. With all you young guns running around, my Sundays are ruined as well. Tons of new, good and interesting stuff to read.

    Shut up already, please. πŸ™‚

  17. Thank you Rida, and I’m sorry Volkher πŸ™ We’ll be good now, promise. πŸ˜‰

    (And welcome the both of you to Bright Meadow)

  18. Cas – A Bimbo Blonde would never have said something like “I should have been born blonde”, I think the issue is you think too much and the mundane portions of your life (going to the store) can never capture your attention and imagination like your mental activity does.

  19. Thinking too much is the perfect way to describe it Dewayne – and I don’t mind having the odd blonde moment. They amuse me, and everyone around me πŸ˜€ Not for nothing my supervisor called me the blondest brunette he’d ever met!

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