The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

Ideas Of March

– March 15th, 2012 –

Last year, Chris Shiflett — together with a few other people — decided to get behind blogging again and post a series of posts called ‘Ideas of March’. What followed, throughout March, was some exciting and insightful reading. Having an initiative to blog around seemed to help get people away from Twitter and back to blogs again. I did it, too. And it helped.

I’ve been blogging – on and off – since 2003. That’s close to 10 years (!) and I still find it a useful way of capturing my thoughts. The very act of writing something down for other people to read is a process I enjoy: often it means taking disparate pieces of information, thoughts, conversations and compiling it all into some kind of order. But along the way, there’s been a problem for me. Blogging started to be about other people instead of myself.

When I write longer articles, or I get more people reading them, I can very quickly start writing to their expectations. I begin thinking more about an article as a design problem needing to be solved for a particular audience, rather than a simple creative outlet – just for me, nobody else.

Since last March, I’ve blogged the most i’ve done since 2007. I think that’s not only a reflection of me being more selfish with my approach and understanding – finally – that blogging is part of my creative expression. I don’t write because I want to, I do it because I need to. And it’s taken me the longest time to understand that. But also, I’ve blogged more because I feel there’s been more to say. We’re wrestling with some exciting problems right now, and half of the articles I’ve written have been as a direct result of heated discussion in the Mark Boulton Design studio, or from Twitter.

Twitter is no comparison to blogging. That’s not to say it’s not useful. For me, Twitter is the point of fertilisation of ideas, debate or discussion. Brief conversations that happen there are often where ideas are sown, but it’s here — on this blog — where those ideas are nurtured and grown into something more. The very act of considering what I write is what makes my blog an integral part of my design toolkit.

As with all the Ideas of March posts today, this is just a promise to myself. A promise that I’ll continue to understand why I write, and therefore, not stop. For me, writing about design, and the problems I face with it, is as important as the work itself.

Filed in: personal.

Further reading