There are some changes I'm implementing here, and to signify it, I'm borrowing the title of Steve Biko's book "I Write What I Like" because it left such an immense impression on me.
This is one of my favourite quotes from the book:
"...the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."
I made a mistake years ago (circa 2009). I updated my WordPress blog (I needed a change), and it was hard to migrate all the content. So, I optimised for "new" and not history. I truly regret that. (Most ironically, I had pushed my open source content to Facebook, which remains the only artefact of my writing before this switch.)
I return to that, because part of me feels like I'm in a "full circle"-type moment.
I have recently joined Automattic (1 January 2024) to work on commerce stuff (I'll keep y'all guessing because: hype). Even though I had left Woo before their acquisition by Automattic, this is still a homecoming of sorts. I'm reconnecting with so many ideas and individuals that have been influential on my journey.
Matt is a prominent protagonist in my journey. I'm late to his call to blog to celebrate his recent 40th birthday, and here is an overdue post. After that, I was fortunate to spend time with him in person for the first time since 2012. His passion for publishing and sharing has only grown since he first convinced me (and us) to change our stance about open source at Woo way back in the day.
With all this, I've been reminded that I used to publish/share whatever mattered to me. And I've been filtering and editing myself extensively since.
I was recently asked about "how I escaped" (sic, the corporate game) by someone following me for years. My reply surprised me. I replied that I felt way freer when I started this journey than now. I have imprisoned and limited myself in what I should do and publish. (Beyond publishing, we should discuss my decision to pursue a role at Automattic versus doing what I've always done: just start a new business.)
There is more to this conversation; in the meantime, I will try writing about what I like. Things like this. Or finally publishing the 70K words I wrote to tell you about the messy middle. I hope that by consistently sharing the things that matter to me, I can give you something from which you can extract value.
At some stage, I'll also probably have to switch my site (which is limited because I'm back to using a $100 template) to WordPress** to align with where I spend my time. For now, the platform matters less than the intent and the words.
The emails might be coming thick and fast (assuming I share well) in the next few weeks. I'd love some feedback, though. What resonates? What works? What else would you like from me?
And if you haven't made the connection yet: I have oppressed myself in this regard. The italics are important because this is not real oppression relative to what happens in the world, and the challenge has been one I've struggled with for years.
If I relented to that oppression, then I'm also giving power to the oppressor of any idea or technology or politic or world view. Instead, I'm aligning with and ambitiously pursuing the mission of Automattic, which is to democratise publishing and commerce (and now messaging).
It has to be a "hell yeah" or no.
And in this season of my life, I will write what I like.