Hey friends—as I’m planning the future of this site, I wanted to give you an update on its direction and some of its background.
I’ve been writing on this blog for some time, but for the most part have wanted to keep the site focused as a brand, ‘The Goodnight Post,’ and not necessarily as my personal blog. One of the reasons is that this site didn’t start out as a personal blog; it was a high school project between me and a close friend, Chase, as a way for us to share our writing and entertain ourselves with an interesting niche: bedtime stories for adults. The other reason is that I intended for us to have more writers: I wanted the site to be a medium for a collective of thinkers, poets, and story-tellers.
Chase and I remain friends, but as a result of a shift in our lives and goals, we’ve agreed that I should lead the site. As for the goal of sharing different voices, I’m still hopeful for that, and I’d be glad to publish interesting thoughts as they’re submitted.
But I think that subconsciously, there was a third reason for my emphasizing the brand ‘The Goodnight Post’ over myself as a writer and curator. I felt that by focusing on myself, and naming the site, say, “Brian Do,” I would be taking on too much responsibility. In some ways, I was hiding behind the name ‘The Goodnight Post.’ My thinking for this is inspired by the blogger Melyssa Griffin, who shared her own story of rebranding and encouraged other bloggers to similarly ‘stop hiding’ behind their brands.
At this point, I think I’ll keep the site named ‘The Goodnight Post,’ and see how it can grow. But it feels disingenuous of me to hide behind impersonal mission statements, language on social media posts, and so on. When I do so, my writing and its topics become less transparent and more restricted. An impersonal brand also keeps me from feeling the sense of personalness with which I’d want to interact with a community and share my thoughts as they are. So in addition to personalizing this blog, I want to share my own influences and goals, and what you might expect out of it.
In general, I’m focused on living a fulfilling and meaningful life. The thoughts posted are those that will both help and influence me. I won’t pretend that my thoughts will help everyone, or that there’s one way of living for everyone. A quote by Maria Popova says it well: “There are infinitely many kinds of beautiful lives.” And with those, different ideas to inspire.
Personally, I’m drawn to philosophy that emphasizes a humane character and practical action. It’s something taught in Stoicism, The Art of War, and other warrior/leader philosophies. More broadly, the personalities that have inspired me are often self-disciplined, humane, and reminiscent of the versatile renaissance man. They’re cultured, well-socialized, capable, and objective. And they elect to do something with their knowledge, because they believe thoughts are useless without action. Because these ideals are what would constitute a fulfilling life for me, I will write advice catered to them under the category of self-improvement.
But I also believe that fulfilling lives are invariably not just led by practical ethics labeled ‘self-improvement’: They are informed by continually evolving thoughts which define our worldviews for us. For example, our understanding of science affects how we sanitize, how we debate, how we choose to help each other, and so on. And our understanding of virtue, of whether it exists intrinsically in each person, or whether it even makes sense as a concept, affects how we respect one another and ourselves. Thoughts for a good life are diverse and not easily categorized: They can be on animal cognition, on the nature of knowledge itself, and on what the future’s like. I will lump ideas like these into the category of ‘thoughts.’
I have some goals for this site: I want to share these thoughts which inspire me, as well as advice that pragmatically guides me. For now, there’s also a section for bedtime stories, as an homage to the site’s inception. I aim to add reviews for books, quotes, or whatever else inspires me. And in writing, I hope to hold myself accountable to learning and growth, but also to inspire discussion and thinking from a community of other thinkers.
I’ll also add a big tagline on top with my name and portrait in it. Kidding. Haha. Unless …
Anyway, I’ll be happy to share more, and am excited for you to join me.