I Used to Have a Less Clear Sense of Who I Am
I’ve been a mess. I’ve been bad at branding and worse at consistency. Without trying to, on the What a Maneuver Podcast, Joe Drilling (at around the 2-hour mark) articulated what I’m sure lots of people feel about my constant name-changing, url-hopping, and website deleting:
“Let’s see…K Sawyer Paul, just Sawyer Paul. You know the guy we’re talking about. He knows we’re talking about him. Does he delete his Twitter, then create a new one periodically, or does he just unfollow us and refollow us? I don’t really know what’s going on. I’m sure he’ll respond when he hears this episode.”
I do! And I am!
My problem is a lot of my projects lose stream. Whether it’s time or interest, I just don’t always finish a piece of work. And while it seems odd to the medium, I look at blogs and social media accounts as projects. With some, like Fake Vince, I’ve been good about at least keeping the content available. But others I’ve been not great at keeping active or available.
As for why I’ve moved stuff around, and why I keep coupling and decoupling my IO work from the rest, I don’t have a clear answer. It’s somewhat connected to the same problem I’ve wrestled with for ten years: What is it I actually want people to know me for? The reason I keep moving International Object around is that I don’t know where it fits in my life. At times it’s been the thing in most proud of, but other times it’s been embarrassing to see my name on it.
Rich diagnosed my issue a while ago as a guy who would prefer to burn my work than archive it. It’s definitely a temperament-based problem. Earlier last year I dropped the K from my name. I’ve moved International Object from Tumblr to Wordpress to Squarespace and back. I recently deleted my longstanding Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook accounts to try to give myself some peace of mind. I haven’t missed them. It’s been a net gain for me.
But I know my constant shifting, culling, and returning hasn’t been good for my friends. And it’s undoubtable been worse for people who know me, but not in person. I know I’ve been bad at this. I’m trying to get better. That’s about all I can say. I don’t have any plans to move this blog, change my email, or disappear into a puff of smoke anytime soon. All I can say now is that I feel more confident about my choices than ever. Maybe it’s that I’ve finally got a job I really like. Maybe it’s that I’m finally enjoying writing again after a year of stops and starts. I feel like I’ve got good footing. I feel ever so slightly less like a mess.