A manifesto for a more wondrous age.

Dust floats across the dark corridor, glinting like jewels in the reflected light of a long dead star. The thick glass, meant to protect the delicate interior from the harshness the ship was submerged in, drifting through, refracted much of the light it was met with, leaving the interior dim. First an exploratory craft, forging silently into uncharted territory, it had long since been relegated to simply relaying messages from even farther out, and even more recently still, to waiting, like a sleeping forgotten god, until it would stir to life from the depths once more.

A light in the hull back-lights the dust the color of ice, filling the cabin with an eerie and still glow, a single point of light in space, giving form to the long-lost framework.

Hello. I have been very quiet. Quiet is not bad — I relish the quiet moments — but I am sorry for leaving this space dormant.

Truthfully, it has been a bellwether year for Monochromatic. I’m prouder of many of the pieces I’ve released this year, and the engagement has seen a dramatic increase from year one. And yet —

When I initially sent this craft off on its maiden voyage, it was with two goals in mind.

  1. To provide a platform to house and relay my writing and ideas to you, since I wasn’t finding success in sending work out to more traditional outlets.
  2. To use as a springboard for finding opportunities at large, using Monochromatic as a portfolio of my writing and photography, and also to offer some meager proof that I could, arguably, write.

To these ends, I think Monochromatic has been halfly successful (can you see which half?)

However, as time goes on, I am realizing my goals have shifted, and continue to evolve. Such inquiries into my own process and goals kept coming to the surface, each time I sat down to write in the past months. Am I writing to write, or to be read? Do I want monochromatic to grow, and why? If so, for the platform’s sake, or for my own?

Even more so, I have been thinking about what I might consider existential questions regarding a personal website. What good is a website? What is it for? What do I want mine to do? The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wasn’t contributing to building what I wanted to, anymore.

Something needs to change.

I’ve talked about it before, but a large part of the fun I’ve been getting out of a blog is looking at the analytics and enjoying the brief dopamine hit I’ve been getting.

My brain works in longform. As I write, I get closer and closer to the heart of the matter, until I’m finally able to properly articulate my point. In a longer scale, Monochromatic itself has been instrumental in helping to define what it is I want to do. And it’s becoming clear that I should move it in another direction.

When I was at university, I had a professor tell me that philosophy was simply a set of principles to guide your way of life. My philosophy is changing and I need to update the vessel to reflect the form.

So what does this mean? Is Monochromatic dead? Absolutely not; I intend to keep and cherish this domain until its pried from my cold hands.. However, I need to make some adjustments to bring it in line with where I want Monochromatic to be, where I want it to be going, and what I want it to do.

For one, I hope to self-host it. Squarespace has been a great host for the blog for these nearly two years, but it’s important to me to try and make it myself. It’s been too long since I’ve done any web development work, and I think I’m long overdue. For Monochromatic to truly be a suitable home and relay station for the type of work I want to do, I need to be able to design it as I see fit. Something more serialized and updated than a standard personal website, but not quite a traditional blog (though that is part of it).

In a way, I want it to be messy, to be sloppy, and to be my own. That feels more honest and in line with the work than this beautiful but limited facade. I’m looking into other CMS systems now.

I want to build a website that’s both bigger and smaller. A place that not only shares my ideas, but can be revised and updated with them, can be a home to both simple blog posts and pages designed to be referred back to time and time again.

Anyways, I have a lot of ideas, but that’s the gist of it. I’m working on it. Monochromatic is ready to take the next step, and so am I. I hope you’ll follow me there, too.

Your faithful commander,

— I