CN: Mention of r*pe jokes (no actual jokes about it, however)
This past weekend, I took the big Internet step I have been excited about for over a week and moved my website from GoDaddy to Squarespace. I was excited both because of the shiny new website I would get to design from the ground up, and because it would finally divorce my money from the absolutely loathsome politics of GoDaddy (seriously, look them up, but brace for a lot of terrible, including but not limited to animal cruelty). A couple days into the new site, and I feel like I'm wearing a new outfit tailored to my body; I know that sounds like shilling, but seriously, I feel clean and free and unburdened. I also feel less worried about what an agent or fellow author might see when they check out my URL.
The only regret I have is that I had to leave my old blog behind. While I'm sure moving it could have been facilitated somehow, ultimately it was easier to just go ahead and scrap the whole thing than to try to salvage it, and the gains from moving were so great that I threw my patience over my shoulder, salvaged the three recent posts I cared about most, and never looked back.
Or rather, it took a day or so before I glanced back, and I was kind of surprised by what I found. There were things I will miss -- one of the announcements of my marriage was on that blog, as were several different publication announcements and my first ever con recap as a guest. But there are also things I won't miss -- namely, most of the posts that were more than five years old.
To say that I have grown up a lot in the past five years is to undersell it. My blog was potholed with proof of it; I was basically a walking bingo card for every kind of mistake you could make on a writing blog, from the purple prose to the silly declarations about my "authorial voice" to my half-baked efforts to tell writers The One Way To Write. I had several failed attempts at weekly progress updates, a weird self-indulgent post that was just a recording of my voice, and me waxing and waning out of trying to be Warren Ellis with my angry, cynical political screeds...
...and then there were my politics. I'm not Social Justice Perfect or anything -- far from it -- but in my old posts I was extra-bad. I cried "Not All Men." I co-opted stories about marginalized people to talk about my own experience. I think I even gave a weird, rambling defense of Roman Polanski (God, I can't believe I did that). I don't think I told any rape jokes, but I'm sure I used the verb more casually and outside its very real and very dire meaning. I'm so glad I'm less awful. Frankly, I kept those posts around as a reminder of who I'm not anymore, and who I was capable of being, but a chance to move away from it is welcome.
"Who I'm not" in general is something I'm glad to leave behind with that blog. The me that started that blog was not medicated for his anxiety, and had no coping techniques for avoiding a spiral. He had not realized he had diabetes that was complicating his anxiety (as well as slowly dragging him down the path to an early grave). He was embarrassed by himself, by his love of Dungeons & Dragons and pop culture and everything that wasn't What A Real Writer Did, and he dealt with all that hurt by being angry about it, all over the Internet, whenever anyone would listen, while writing stories about how horrible the world secretly is.
That's not me anymore. This new site, and this new blog, is a chance to focus on being who I am. I'm still working through my problems, and I always will be, but leaving behind the me who was still stewing in the depths of them and pissed off about it is a big step in the right direction. So let's go ahead and let WordPress slip down into the swamps, and see if we can't make this Internet a little bit of a nicer place to be.
Now I just have to hope no-one ever finds my Blogger or LiveJournal feeds...