Controlling the hounds of creativity

A screenshot of the homepage of sealfur-dot-com. Dark background, light text, simple layout.

Last Saturday night I stayed up until almost 2am, tweaking the appearance of my new website until I found it acceptable.

I wasn’t going for “perfect”. I was going for “good enough”. Granted, my version of “good enough” is more polished than someone else’s might be, but the site is still so far away from my vision that there’s still many days of work to do on the UI.

Doing that at this stage would be procrastination. The goals for this site have always been prioritised.

  1. Establish a new public forum for my writing.
  2. Build a site that gives me the opportunity to learn and experiment with new technologies.

As soon as the site was originally built I could have ticked off goal one, but that would be cheating. Goals need success criteria.

To get to that public forum, I needed something I wasn’t embarrassed for people to see. So, part of the second goal fed into the first. Likewise with building a site from scratch. I found I actually did need to do that.

The ideas of learning all these new technologies and techniques did not magically dissolve after I wrote that post. They continued to hound me in my downtime. I wouldn’t make peace with those ideas until I actually built something I found acceptable.

What I discovered is how much I missed creative play. A few years ago I put my personal creativity aside to focus on career and health. Those were the louder issues hounding me and I couldn’t ignore them.

I am always happiest, however, when I’m making something. I need that sense of achievement. I need to be able to point at something and proudly say: “I made that.”

Last Saturday night, just before 2am, I reached that point with my website and felt something I remembered from years ago: personal satisfaction and pride that comes from building something I’m happy to release into the world; something that is mine and that represents me.

For the next little while I can move on to dealing with some of the other hounding thoughts. You can tell from the footnotes that they gather in packs. I’ll never be rid of them, but this achievement is a good reminder that I can tame them.

Originally published at https://sealfur.com on February 14, 2021.

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