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 😉 ). 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.