journal/

on-going mostly unedited stream of thoughts

on writing to exist, and website graveyards

I suppose the momentum of writing is like maintaining a bicycle chain, if too much time passes the chain becomes rusty and it becomes a lot harder to get it going again. I think any act of creativity requires some sort of a reserve, a reserve that I have been lacking in the recent weeks. I have been ill before but I still found the desire to write, but this time around it wasn’t just the lack of health that hindered me, but I found my mind and perhaps my soul running empty.

I consider this website an extension of me, or a more accurate version of me even. I put up a lot of socially conditioned behaviour in real life, but it is on this website that I attempt to express as much depth and complexity as I possibly can. I wouldn’t be able to express verbally even 10% of the stuff I convey in my writing – it is of no wonder my partner often asks why I sound totally different in writing and in person, and this is a person who has encountered the most intimate of my thoughts.

That’s partially why I find it difficult to maintain in-person relationships. I feel like most people wouldn’t be able to truly know me unless they read me, and asking people to read me is just too much to ask for. And if they are not interacting with who I truly am, then who are they interacting with? I find this difficult to reconcile, especially because I can only interact with people when I am well, but such a huge part of me is the person who is deeply struggling with chronic illness. I am sad, angry, resentful and dark in many moments of my life but that’s not what people see, and even that I resent.

I am hence thankful to my partner – I have never understood how essential it is to have a witness until these recent years, or at least at this point in my life when everything seems so shaky and transient, how much it means to me that my ongoing existence is being witnessed. That all of this is real, someone is seeing my pain, my struggles. I think this is the outcome of feeling not being taken seriously my entire life.


One of the things I think about once in a while is the existence of this website once I am no longer around. I think it is a bit ironic for a person who is chronically suicidal to care about her website’s existence after she’s dead.

Websites shouldn’t have to go offline once their creators are dead, yet they mostly will unless they are hosted on a free service that will likely sustain long-term into the future (i.e. wordpress.com or github). I believe websites will be future archaeological artefacts. I hope there’s a website graveyard where I can house this before I die. I mean it is one thing for my writing to die, but my personal learning library could have value? This is contradicting my metaphysical values that everything is ultimately transient and meaningless so I have to meditate on this a bit more.

p.s. if you still somewhat wish to hear from me when I’m not publishing as expected, I’m frequently on instagram stories, unless I’m very sick.

p.s.s. maybe I’ll try to write shorter and more transient posts like this – I’ve tried a few times previously, but I tend to very unmindfully reset myself into a “I only want to write when I have a point to make” mode, which is fine if that’s what other people want, but that’s not I want. I wish to capture the impermanent bits of my existence.

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Noted in

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on personal websites

this is a space collating my thoughts on personal websites, and also collections of personal websites I appreciate.

6 post(s) | 4 collection(s) | 0 responses |

7 thoughts on “on writing to exist, and website graveyards”

  1. Mr RIP says:

    Hi Winnie, I found you thru my Digital Garden rabbit hole, and I’m reading your most intimate posts soon after. I love your writing style and the quality of your thinking, thank you for all you share.

    I never though about what happens to websites one you die, that’s a good question! It’s part of a larger problem though: what happens to my digital life once I die? My digital belongings are several orders of magnitude larger than my website alone. Some of them I want them to never be seen by anyone, some of them I’d love to make accessible by my family and maybe close friends, and some of them be publicly available – like my blog.

    We need a “digital will” 🙂

    1. Winnie says:

      Hi Mr RIP,
      thank you for taking the time to read my posts, and taking the effort to leave this note. Website comments are rare these days.

      I think for now not enough people are thinking about their websites longevity, do let me know if you have more ideas what to do with yours. 🙂

  2. Wesley says:

    Hey Winnie!

    I mentioned this post (which I like quite a lot — I’ve long thought about similar things) on my notebook here.

    Hope you’re well,

    :w

    1. Wesley says:

      Oops, looks like the link didn’t come through — https://notebook.wesleyac.com/how-websites-die/ is the link 🙂

    2. Winnie says:

      Thanks for reading this post and mentioning it! It makes me feel hopeful that not all old written posts beyond the front page disappear into some blackhole.

      I’m glad I’m not the only person thinking about website longevity, I hope it get solved soon before I’m gone.

      I’m always a little upset when people delete their blogs/domains like they are nothing.

  3. eyedrops says:

    i think i found this link either via laurel or wesley, i dont remember exactly. i just wanted to comment to state that i was here (on this page) and read these words… i liked the part about witnessing. sometimes thats all we want to be… to be seen, somehow, by someone, even for a fleeting moment…

    i kind of have an obsession with keeping a record of everything in my life so i understand how nice it is to keep things available and archived, especially when these things are valuable work that can continue to speak to others. but sometimes its nice that death is just death, too. to let things go, even if its my own work or words, without hesitation or regret. to return to a nothingness that feels whole. it reminds me of when i lost all my pictures on my phone or sometimes lost something ive been writing for a long time, i can only be assured by how those records are still inside me. when i die though, i guess those records wont even be inside me anymore, but i want to think that theyll go somewhere with me, or everywhere… spiritually if not in a tangible form

  4. Back when jQuery was king, Blogger was active, and the web wasn’t super polished, I ran a design blog. I just posted the neat things I found interesting and got to the point where the very blogs I admired started to link back to me if I was first in blogging something.

    I was also very cavalier about letting my site die, not posting for a while, changing link structure without redirects, &c. I wish I at least used Wayback Machine to save some of them. Hindsight and all that.

    I have an idea for a product and intend to work on it soon. It’s basically P2P search, so you could query your friends’ index instead of the entire internet (with ads, SEO trash, and the like). What I’m now thinking is, what if there was a way to setup your account to automatically archive after some period of inactivity? This archive method would disallow updates but allow the areas of your index you designate public, freely accessible.

    Of course, this depends on the altruism of the person running the service (I’m not going to be around forever either), and just how much storage one’s index requires.

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