I built my first web site a little over twenty years ago. Twenty-three, I think. At the time, I worked as a computer salesperson for a small shop in Anchorage, Alaska. We weren't terribly busy, I wasn't a very good salesperson, and I didn't like cold-calling, so I spent hours building and customizing my first web site. If I remember correctly, most of its contents were just lists of things I liked.
Over the intervening years, I've had many versions of a personal site. For a little while, in the early 2000s, my personal site morphed into a literary webzine. (I might've used the term "literary journal" to sound more credible...?) But eventually it just became my personal blog again. I got better at web design; I learned how to build the things I designed. For several years there, I had a lovely web site. I still think about how enjoyable it was. But it was a real pain to maintain, and to fix constantly because my code wasn't that great.
Eventually I opted for an out-of-the-box web site builder instead. I moved to Squarespace, and every year or so I'd redesign the whole site just for fun. But most of the sites I created felt bloated, too over-designed, over-animated. They didn't really reflect the site I wanted to write on. So I stopped writing on my site; the site became just a postcard of the things I'd made.
Recently, I found a whole bunch of blogs that remind me of the community I used to enjoy following. It's been a long time since blogs seemed to matter. But I couldn't stop thinking about bringing my site to life again, and simplifying it dramatically.
So here we are. I moved the whole thing to Ghost (not without some domain transfer hiccups, as you may have noticed), and all of a sudden, I'm once again enjoying using my site the way I used to use my site: For writing.
Fresh starts always feel so...refreshing.