I have to do it myself. I don't know any other way. I have to do it myself so much that I forget I'm allowed to ask for help.

I enjoy DIY—in the traditional definition of the word. I like to cook from scratch, my own bread, my own pasta, and the sauce to go with it. (I don't grow the tomatoes from scratch, but my grandma does.) I make zines. I sew clothes. I look at an object and before I buy it, I think, could I make it?

And during the early days of the pandemic, when I was at home by myself and working only two hours two days, I did. I made a lot of my life from scratch.

Today, I'm living a very different life. Who knows if it's Long Covid (I definitely had it in September 2022; I probably had it in February 2020), if it's being 42, or if it's just my constellation of mental illnesses manifesting chronic symptoms, but I don't have the energy for any of that anymore. The ambition remains, but I don't have the motivation or the clarity of mind.

I buy my bread and frozen lasagne. I haven't written a zine in months—years? My sewing machine lives in my bedroom closet. I don't have the energy for any of that anymore.

But I want to. I want to find that DIY part of my identity again. I want to make things again. I miss getting my hands dirty—with dirt physical and metaphorical.

When I decided to come back to blogging this year, I knew I wanted to do it myself, but not every part of it. I have tried a dozen blogging platforms since Blogger in 2002. There have been features I've loved and features I've loathed.

My last blog was a static Jekyll site hosted on Github Pages. A static site is DIY, independent, infinitely customisable, but like cooking lasagne from scratch, it increasingly felt like a chore every time. I had to create a Markdown file, I had to copy and paste the front matter code (I had to find that front matter code in the text file where I saved it), I had to give the document a short but parseable title—all before I actually wrote the blog post. I hated the workflow so much that I stopped blogging.

I want to do it myself, but I also want to open a text field, type a post, then hit a publish button, and not think about it anymore than that. Set it up once, write forever. (This is why all of my blogging since 2022 has been on Tumblr.)

Ghost feels good, so far. Definitely feel a little bit like every post has to be an ~article, but I can shift that mindset. Just gotta take those tiny thoughts out of the group chat and put 'em online. I did it on Twitter; I can do it here, on the site I own. On the site I built myself.

(If you want to build a blog for yourself, in the year of our lord 2024, here's my Ghost tutorial, written in human language.)

I might not have the same energy I had 22 years ago, when I was excited about the web, about making my own home, my own life. But there's a part of me that will always think DIY first. There's a part that will always think, could I?

And if I can't, I want to remind that part, you can always ask for help.

This post is part of the IndieWeb carnival. June's theme is DIY.

do it myself