They say that when you feel something is missing from your life, you should fill the space yourself. I’m not exactly sure who “they” are, but I’ve been trying to take their advice to heart for a while now.
Ever since I was earning pocket money, I was stocking up on Sparkle World – my seven-year-old addiction -; the various Girls’ Book of Glamour series – my first ever Amazon order; celebrity-studded American magazines – that I dutifully read cover to cover -; and, more recently, Teen Breathe – a slightly more aesthetic and older version of the content I was always on the lookout for. Yet, in all of these, there was a distinct gap between the content I was looking for and what I found in the covers.
This is no fault of the products on their half, but rather their lack of what I was yearning for: a space to read about the lifestyles and trivial trials of teenage-hood. And as much as I loved the previous material – the magazines and books that had a special place on my shelf – I was still left looking for something catered to the kind of life I was living.
After some brainstorming and a much-needed push of inspiration from the launch of my friend Chloe’s blog, I finally decided to create my own online journal: Polaroids and Polka Dots. It was a free Blogspot domain, kick-started with the initial intention of recording my elaborate plan to incorporate one new habit every day in December as preparation for 2016. In hindsight, it was a wildly unattainable goal, with more than a few absurd ambitions, one of which was to eat mug cake every Monday (oh, 2015: you were a simpler time) but my loyal friends avidly read every post. I still have the papers from brainstorming thirty-one new year’s resolutions, a proof of my creation of something intimately relatable to me.
For my birthday that year – theoretically six resolutions into the month (although I only posted four) – my dad and my uncle bought me my own domain: Polaroids and Polka Dots “dot-com“. It was so sweet and encouraging of my new endeavour and I loved it very much and I hardly used it. I struggled with the design of the website, and once I finally had a layout sorted, I was hit with thousands of comments from spam sites. I spent more time deleting those comments than actually writing on the blog and my enthusiasm quickly curled up and died. I gave up on the first blog and didn’t renew the domain.
Later, a new era of blogging dawned on me, and I signed up for a free WordPress domain, trying for the third time to revive my blog. The first post was “third time lucky”, with the gist being “this time I’ll keep it up, this will be the one”. Yet, it too was abandoned. Not even my lucky number could save me from diminishing zest.
However tumultuous the past of my blogging life has been, it has seemingly not deterred me from this venture. Rather I am back again, armed with an unstoppable desire to write, and an unquenchable thirst for success. (Dear future readers, if you have perhaps stumbled upon this blog as not a thriving hub of my personal creativity but rather a corpse honouring good intentions, know I went down fighting.) Although my track record with blogging has always been precarious, I’m aiming to shake off those past surrenders and keep it up this time.
Here’s the game plan:
Luckily I have new faith in this adventure, brought on by a fresh surge of momentum from my new and oh-so-fitting title.
As quirky and cute as “Polaroids and Polka Dots” was, I’ve come to acknowledge it as a personal hindrance on the content I could create. It just felt like there was something off about the title: it was a clear style, contradicting against my uncertainty of aesthetic. It was stale and in the time I’ve had to evaluate it and come to that revealing – albeit kind of sad – conclusion, I’ve had time to think about names that would free me from such constraints, and luckily the perfect word revealed itself:
(If this were some sort of speech, it’d be at this moment that I reveal what’s supposed to be my mid-post mic-drop and probably just receive not applause, but mildly amused cricket noises.)
Adoxography is “elegant or refined writing that addresses a trivial or base subject.” In essence, it’s the art of writing about the little things, the topics of conversation that aren’t important, impactful, or meaningfully deep in any way. It’s writing for the sake of writing: putting the spotlight on a subject that wouldn’t usually be afforded such detail.
With that word at the core of my writing, it would help me feel as though I don’t have to be so perfect in what I create. I can write about trivial, random things and not care about their impact on my blog’s image, because that is the image of the blog itself. With Adoxography, I feel a little more at ease with what I’m putting out there, knowing no subject can’t not fit the criteria.
Amongst the previously-addressed obstacles that curbed my efforts to write online, crippling perfectionism is definitely one of the things I battled with when I started the first blog (and the second, and the third). I would never allow myself to write – and just write – for me. It’s an obvious observation that my blog is not being read by millions of people. Currently, even passing twenty would be a miracle. And when I was writing for Polaroids and Polka Dots, I was directing my words to a non-existent audience. Adoxography tries to conquer this. I want to write because I enjoy writing and this gives me the opportunity to do so without fear of imperfection.
Adoxography is perfect for what I want to create, for what I want to say. For what I want to write, and write, and write about.
So what do I want to write about?
The musings of a teenage mind. This mind. Me!
I want to say what I think about the world around me, what I think about my future, and my past. I have a lot of opinions and some of those opinions are on big issues, such as feminism, politics, religion: deep, meaningful, important conversation. Then there’s the less deep, the more trivial, life-style based writing: the reviews and the monthly favourites that I want to do, just documenting my life in lists. And of course, there’s the smaller, less heard of things, not as impactful in sophisticated conversation, such as how I perceive the productivity trend, little snippets of poetry and prose, any topic that my mind fancies to think about.
That is what I want Adoxography to be. A place where I can be creative, and encourage creativity – both in myself and others – no matter how insignificant the products may seem. There is nothing as genuine in this world as creating: music, art, literature, ideas, thoughts: creation. I want Adoxography to be genuine.
We’ll see how it goes in the future. I can’t commit to my own domain yet, because I don’t know if I can commit to Adoxography yet, but I feel – and I hope you feel it too – that I have a new momentum with this.
This is a good place to begin again.