Re-Intro, evolution, and sources of inspiration

With every re-launch comes the faux-obligatory intro: it’s a new direction, a different person, and a renewed hope in holding out. Here’s my piece, complete with the About Page add-ons. Do leave a message, I’d love to get to know you!

marimba-music
Maths + Music + me = ❤

I’m Jessica, a writer and Maths-turned Economics student at the University of Cambridge. Fresh off my first job and the realisations that go with it, I restarted this blog as ‘Into Work and the Word’ to commit to writing, to confront my fear of failure, and to convince myself that blogging isn’t that scary. (Is it?)

I hope to write about my experience as young Christian finding my way in the world: through studying in college, grappling with vocation / calling (work), navigating through first jobs from internships to freelancing to entrepreneurship, and scrambling to deal with whatever comes up in my daily walk with God. There will also be much poetry. 🙂

‘Into Work and the Word’ thus refers to going into work while immersing oneself in the Word of God (and working at the craft of writing, if you like). I do not intend this blog to be exclusively for a Christian audience, and hope that you will enjoy reading these posts regardless of your faith.

tree-in-london

Even more about this blog: This blog (b. 2009) has gone through many phases of being put down and picked up again. It started as a general outlet, became a sparsely curated poetry blog, and then tried to be a thought outlet but failed several times because I couldn’t be sure it was a non-obnoxious thing to do. And I really didn’t want to be seen as obnoxious. The turning point to blog my thoughts (Week of 7 June, 2015) came when our pastor highlighted Psalm 40 (quoted is verse 3):

He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear,

and put their trust in the Lord.

With this I realised that we are all given a voice, and we should use it to do what is good – i.e. to glorify God. In writing my voice is at its most sincere, and since I’ve been writing a lot anyway, I thought it would be good to blog as well. With that, I pray that you will be blessed by these posts.

candle
‘A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.’ – James Keller

A few sources of inspiration:

The Bible: God’s Word, the truth, beautiful beyond measure. Speaks for itself.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Seth’s Blog & Medium – drew me back to blogging after a long hiatus. They inspired me to learn to write engaging posts to make people think and maybe even make their day.

Annoying Precision – Qiaochu Yuan’s notes on blogging as a way to learn first prompted me to record my learning experiences in Evernote, and I hope to bring some notes that may benefit from discussion here in future.

Gowers’s Weblog – showed me how one mathematician thinks, written with beautiful clarity.

There are many people I could mention here, but I don’t have their permission so I’d rather not.

Is this good enough to publish?

‘Will this create social good? If not, surely it’s not worth publishing?’

This worry is the main reason I stopped blogging. Not only that, if I thought my friends wouldn’t benefit from hearing about e.g. what I’d done over the weekend, I wouldn’t talk about it. Recently, I wrote a few articles for other blogs and fretted big time because I wasn’t sure they were valuable enough to be put online (more later).

I soon realised how horrible this obstacle was for me and for my friends. Thankfully, I also realised how much I enjoyed reading good writing, quirky stories, and indeed anything from the heart. And I never disliked writers for publishing pieces (hateful works excluded), regardless of quality. It was a classic case of applying one set of standards to most people, and applying another set to myself: Everyone could write and publish online, except for me, because my work wasn’t good enough. Though this way of thinking undermined my ability, it was oddly arrogant in treating myself different from others.

So while people are wary of others offering free content because it takes precious time to create, here I am sitting and worrying that my work is not good enough to occupy a shack on the practically infinite street that is the Internet. That’s not creating social good – it’s burdening me and preventing people (me) from exchanging ideas, sharing experience and gifting constructive criticism.

So with that, here’s to blogging again.