by J.D. Roth
After months — years! — of hemming and hawing, I’ve made the decision to move on from writing about money as my (mostly) full-time gig. This was an accidental career anyhow, one that I fell into in April 2006.
I’m grateful for the time I spent writing books, blogs, and magazine articles about personal finance, but it’s clear that doing so no longer serves me. In fact, it’s been hindering me for a while now.
At the same time, I’m increasingly frustrated with what the internet has become. Generally, what once promised a bright and glowing future has been co-opted by the very worst elements of human nature: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. I no longer want to be even a small part of that.
So, I’m returning to my roots. I’m returning to Folded Space.
I began keeping my first web journal on 16 August 1997. I started my first weblog on 22 September 1998. And I founded Folded Space on 16 March 2001.
I wrote here regularly for many years, and it was a lot of fun. I shared whatever was on my mindUsually something to with cats, computers, or comic books. and a small audience hung around to join the discussions. But two things caused me to slowly abandon this site.
For a while nowFor eight years, in fact. this site has largely been dormant. I’ve made abortive efforts to return to writing here, but those attempts have never stuck. I intend for this return to stick.
It’s clear to me that my relationship with the internet (and perhaps with computers themselves) has been damaging to my mental health. I won’t belabor the reasons right now, but there are clear connections between how I spend my time online and how I feel about myself — and the world. If I want things to improve, it’s up to me to change them. So I am.
Entering 2023, I’m making several changes.
I’ve been on a three-month “sabbatical” from writing about money as a sort of test. It’s been fantastic. I feel more awake and alive today than I have in years. So, I’ve announced to my Get Rich Slowly readers that I am, in all likelihood, moving on. I’m done. I’ll probably convert that site into some sort of static “textbook of personal finance”, but I’m unlikely to publish regular money-related material ever again. I’m also taking an extended leave of absence from Apex Money, the link curation site I run with Jim Wang.
During 2022, I deliberately reduced how much I was publishing on Facebook. In 2023, I’m going to reduce that even more. Instead of sharing my life on social media, I’m going to share it here. Meanwhile, I’ll s-l-o-w-l-y begin reproducing old Facebook blog-style posts here at Folded Space (in order to populate the archives with the important stuff).
The biggest change, though, is to make the internet — and computers, in general — secondary in my life.
For nearly twenty years, my life has been computer-first. When I wake in the morning, I plop down to check my email. I spend most of my day seated in front of my screens, hacking away at my keyboard. The last thing I do before going to bed is check my email. Most of my life is spent wired to the web. I want to change that. And I have been changing that.
During December, I experimented with making my computer life secondary. I spent more time with Kim and our pets. I hung out with friends, both in person and on Zoom. I began experimenting with art (drawing and painting). I resumed exercising. I’m setting up our kitchen so that Kim and I can both have fun cooking. And so on.
December was my best month in years, and I want to build upon that.
At the same time, I am a writer. I know that. That’s how I self-identify. Writing is how I process what I think and feel. Too, I enjoy engaging with a small, smart community of readers. I’m not ready to move on from the internet completely
So, returning to Folded Space seems like the smart move. It feels like balance. I’ll still be able write and to publish it on the web, but it’ll be on a much more personal level. Most of it all, it’ll be fun.
More to share about this in the days to come. Plus, there’s plenty of work to get this site ready for regular use. Currently the blog theme is in a bit of disarray. I began coding it myself last summer, but I never completed itPlus, I know that many people dislike the black background. I’ll experiment with different color schemes.. Comments, for instance, don’t work at the moment. But I’ll get that all fixed over the next week or two. In the meantime, I’m going to get in the habit of writing here about whatever comes to mind — just as I did back in the Olden Days.
Updated: 03 January 2023