Alisa Bacon - Interview With a Creator vol. 1 | #84
On her digital garden and how it has an impact on her creative process
I knew Alisa through Warde’s Slack. She works on multiple projects online. One of her main projects is working on her digital garden. She collects ideas and capture on her digital garden, which helps her to write essays on topics that she is interested in. She also collects book notes and journal there.
What brought you to start making your digital garden?
I got interested in digital gardens after reading Maggie Appleton's post about them. At the time, I was kind of in a slump about my internet presence. I liked being online, but I was getting sick of social media and the ways I derived validation from it. I considered blogging, but I didn't feel like I had enough content to keep it alive.
Digital gardens are more about growing and connecting pieces of content over time, rather than pushing out disjointed posts chronologically. And this ethos really spoke to me: it felt like a low-stakes way of getting my ideas out there in a way that works for me without the pressure of feeling polished or final. I felt like gardens really fit the niche I was looking for, and they also helped me realize that I have full freedom about how I show up online.
I really like how it looks. Tell us about your process of making it. What was the most difficult part to get through?
Thanks! I think the most difficult part was trying to figure out how I could organize all the different kinds of content I wanted to include: essays, photography, streams of consciousness, and note-taking. I hadn't really seen any gardens that include those more personal pieces of content, so I had to experiment a bit to figure out a site structure that I felt satisfied with. It's been fun to think so carefully about how I think and creating a design and an information architecture that's conducive to that, while also making sure it's easy to understand for everyone else. I'm a human-centered designer by profession, so I love challenges like these!
I also decided to code it myself, which was a new skill for me. Luckily, my partner codes regularly and he was able to help me when I needed. I'm glad I challenged myself with that — it meant that I was really able to customize my garden into a format that was exactly the way I wanted it, and I learned some new skills to boot!
How does your digital garden help you to improve your writing and creative process?
For me, the hardest part about writing or creating is just getting started. My digital garden is a space where I can post constantly without ever "finishing" a single thing, meaning that I don't have the pressure to be perfect. It makes it much easier to start when I don't feel pressured to follow through to the very end. And oftentimes, when I revisit an unfinished piece a few days (or months!) later, I feel much more inspired to go back and revise, edit, and bring it to a more completed state. I still have posts that I haven't touched since I wrote the first outline months ago.
What are the main topics that interest you the most that you would go down a rabbit role to read more about?
It really depends on my mood! Some of the topics that interest me most are internet culture, philosophy, and linguistics. I especially love it when these topics intersect with each other.
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