is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
It’s no secret that this blog has been operating at a reduced pace for some time now. I’m struggling to post much of anything, and I’m utterly failing in writing the kind of stuff I would like to be writing: longer and (hopefully) more substantive essays than what’s been posted recently, the kind that I used to turn out regularly.
And it’s hardly the case that I’ve been stumped for topics to post about, either. To the contrary, all sorts of blog post ideas continue to occur to me at all times. Often I’ll start mentally drafting them, anticipating a free moment when I can type them out and turn them into real posts that get published on this site — you know, like a blogger would do. But then a very busy day goes by, and two or three more, and before long the post no longer seems timely or unique and the moment is gone.
Back during the peak of my blogging, it used to be that I could spend a few hours after dinner hammering out five or ten somewhat coherent paragraphs, several nights a week. It took a lot of discipline, but mostly it required time. That all seems to have receded far into my past now, when I was much younger, frankly.
As you get older, free time usually becomes progressively rarer. But in the past several months, I’ve barely been able to stitch together even fifteen or twenty free minutes a day — thanks in no small part to the changes that have happened in my life. Any one of these changes might have made for decent blog fodder, but they all happened within the space of just a few short months and together conspired to rob me of almost all of my unclaimed time.
To start, we sold Mixel to Etsy in January, and I’ve spent the past eight weeks acclimating to the culture and my new responsibilities at my new employers. That in itself would make for at least a few posts; there are stories I would like to tell about the whole Mixel journey, especially its end, as well as thoughts I’d like to publish about our acquisition and what life has been like at Etsy.
Then there’s the house that Laura and I just bought, and all of the excitement, pressure and confusion of owning a building of our own, from basement to roof. There’s probably not all that much about this subject that’s particularly interesting to readers of this blog, but all of the time I spend driving to and from Home Depot is time I could theoretically be spending on this blog.
Finally, there’s the big one — or the big two, to be exact: the birth of our twin boys in January and the attendant, total upheaval in our lives. We are very lucky to have these two wonderful, healthy kids, but either one of them, even on their own, has been much more demanding than our daughter was when she was an infant — and there are two of them! They have been absolutely unceasing in their need for attention, food and care, and as a result I find myself continually exhausted, wanly coping with the deleterious effects of sleep deprivation.
Still, I miss this blog, and the act of writing regularly for it, and all of the feedback and conversation that it makes possible. When I started out blogging, I never would have expected to have such a long, continuous (if not consistent) run. I’m not ready to give up on it yet.
Sometimes, too, the longer you go between writing blog posts, the harder it is to get back into the swing of things. I know that as I’ve tossed more and more of those mental drafts onto my imaginary scrap heap of post ideas, the more important the next big blog post seems like it has to be. It’s gotten to the point now where I feel like I couldn’t possibly just write any old post without at least mentioning the tremendous stress of selling a company and starting a new job with the acquirer, the exhilaration of assisting in the delivery of my second and third children, the trepidation of closing on a new home purchase, the whirlwind of packing up an apartment rife with sentimental baggage, and the nervous jitters of moving to a new neighborhood — preferably all summed up in one lavishly detailed, momentous essay.
That’s never going to happen, obviously, at least not with the schedule I’ve been keeping these days. What I really need is to write a blog post that clears the decks, one that owns up to how starkly impersonal my posts have been for months now, and essentially gives me permission to start trying to write again. So here it is. Those other posts will come — I have too much to say about these various topics to punt on them altogether — but for now I’m just going to try to start blogging again.+