By Jason Weiland

What it’s like to analyze everything I do

I’ve been writing my whole life. But, I didn’t start blogging until my twenties.

Back then I called it “online journaling” because blogging and WordPress weren’t a thing yet.

I’ve journaled since I was young, so when I became interested in the internet in the 1990s, I tried to figure out a way to put my personal observations online. As I said, there was no WordPress, so I had to get creative.

This is my journey!

(I tried to use the Internet Archive to find screenshots of my old websites, but it didn’t go that far back. Let’s just say that all my websites were awesome and well before their time. You’ll have to take my word for it!)

In the early 1990s, I taught myself how to use Photoshop and HTML and started building simple websites. As you can imagine, my first sites were horrendous! I think I remember clashing colors, loud tiled backgrounds, and animated GIFs of gophers dancing across the page.

After some time, my Photoshop skills got better, and I started creating interesting designs. But because of the nature of bandwidth at that time, images on web pages had to be very small. I figured out a way to create a graphical interface that had a small file size but was very appealing. I wish I had a screenshot.

It was an image of me with the head enlarged and some fancy clickable buttons. I would add new journal entries a few times a week, but each page had to be coded, so it took some time. I got well versed at cutting and pasting.

Eventually, HTML got better and better, and I added some very neat animated rollover buttons (again, I wish I had made screenshots). My first job as a web designer came because somebody saw my website and was impressed with my skills.

Not only did I love designing and coding the web pages, but I enjoyed writing online. Back then, the only comments I received were through email, because there wasn’t any way to add comments to a website yet. People reacted positively, and it’s one of the reasons I continued to design and write online.

I eventually got too unwell to continue updating the website. stayed with me for some time, and later when I started my own web design firm, BigHeadBoy Design, we used the domain for the company website.

When you clicked on this dude’s big head it loaded the website! (image owned by Jason Weiland)

During one of the years I was hospitalized quite a bit, I failed to renew the domain and lost it. Someone else snapped it up, but they never developed it.

There was a time I owned the .com for my name and used it as a portfolio/online journal. I was experimenting with design, and I used typefaces in interesting ways. I changed this website about once a month as I learned new things like JavaScript and CSS.

As far as the writing, I didn’t do anything groundbreaking because I was using the site as a portfolio, so I had to be very careful what I wrote about.

Again, I got sick and lost the domain.

During the next few years, much was going on in my life with my marriage and my mental health. For some reason, I felt I should protect myself, so I started blogging anonymously. I’d never felt the need to hide before, but I needed to say some things that I didn’t want my family knowing.

I wrote with brutal openness. Some people were turned off because I was writing about my experiences with psychosis and self-harm. But, I had quite a few fans who followed religiously, even though I don’t think my writing was particularly good.

One of the banners I used for the site. (image owned by Jason Weiland)

I got some publicity one day, and I felt like the people writing it were trying much too hard to find out who I was in real life, so I shuttered the blog and never reopened it.

More recently, I wrote about the changes in my life after my last suicide attempt. I wrote a lot about my mental health, diet, and the businesses I tried and failed to start.

This blog changed quite a bit, as I used it as a way to get freelance clients at times.

It’s no longer active, but I may open it again soon.

A few months ago, I got the idea to start a blog chronicling the life and times of my family and I. I had thought to talk about the two girls we were going to foster, but they ended up going back to their mother. I’ve been paying attention to it more now that my wife is pregnant again, and I plan to start writing three times a week.

I guess when I started writing almost every day on Medium, this blog took a back seat. But that will change.

The site itself is not even complete. I don’t even have a mailing list set up, and so far I’ve only posted twice (and an about page). If you want to take a look, please let me know what you think so far.

That is Not All

I’ve had many, many more blogs, but these were either the most interesting, or the ones that changed my life somehow.

Blogging and journaling have been part of my life for as long as I can remember, so I’m sure I will keep doing them for as long as I can. Finding Medium has changed the game a bit for me, but I still think there is a place for standalone blogs on the internet. I know I will probably always have at least one going.

Blogging is great fun, and I feel if I ever decide to stick to it long enough, one day I will be successful with it.

It doesn’t hurt to try.

By Jason Weiland

Sourced from The Writing Cooperative