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Time for a change
Under my creative terms
14 May 2023 . 3min read

Well, here we go. It's time for a change. It's a cliche, I know, but that doesn't mean it's not time for one.

For a while I've wanted to make a change, just not sure what that would be. I was wondering if it would be (A) or (B); I just couldn't decide. So I flipped a coin. Based on that outcome alone, did (C). From your perspective, it doesn't matter what (A) or (B) actually were. Heck, I can hardly remember myself.

Before we get onto what the change is, perhaps we could take a moment to chat about why I needed to change something.

There's a lot going on I the world at the moment, and with every passing day the amount of change appears to be increasing. Or if not the amount, then surely the speed. When we find ourselves in a moment of flux, it seems like a normal reaction to find something steadfast and hang onto that. Looking around finding such a dependable thing is more of a challenge than it feels like it should be. Should I keep looking? Should I keep grabbing onto random stuff to see if it holds fast? I've been wresting with that for a while now.

Recently I attended the fantastic MozFest. It's an annual event held and organised by The Mozilla Foundation. It's a week-long event with almost 500 sessions from a dizzying array of fantastically diverse people. 6,000 people from 131 countries attended.

I wasn't sure if I was going to buy a ticket. I'd never attended an event like this and wasn't sure if it would be my cup of tea. I've been engaging with Mozilla since it's creation in '98, albeit as a tester and user of their "stuff". Over the years, they've moved from a developer of products to an ethical force of change, representation, and engagement. Attending this event placed that square and centre, and to be honest, the effect it had on me was a total surprise.

I knew I needed to make a change; MozFest distilled that desire for change into an action.

Of the many themes than ran through the event, for me there was a genuine sense of ethical representation as being important. As I was thinking about my own work, the gap between the ownership I had of my work and the dependence I had on others struck me. I wanted to be more in control of that. I wanted more freedom over how that was delivered. I didn't want to be at the behest of a company and their terms-of-conditions-and-service.

When I published my first three books, it was important for me to have ownership of them. Not just in a copyright sense, but in a process sense. I saw the process of publication, down to the purchasing of my own ISBN for each book, as an extended creative expression. Mozfest helped me realise I need to extend that further.

I needed to express myself creatively, but on my terms. For me, those terms mean having ownership of what I create, which I already have, but also in how it is presented and how accessible it is. Not dependent on how someone "thinks" it should accessed, but on how I "want" it to be accessed.

I have previously written about how my words are independent from who reads them; the words exist regardless of who reads them. Now it seems that I want to have ownership over how someone reads them. I want to create the platform "thing" that serves up my words.

So, I have.

Sure, from a technical perspective, it is more complicated. Sure, from a creative perspective, there are now more steps from idea to writing to publication. However, I am sure of one thing. I have met my desire for change.

I am writing it under my creative terms and without any kind of restriction; you are reading it.

Long may that continue.

I glanced at this and rushed outside. Sometimes, to make something better, you need a little contrast.


Profile photo of Nigel Derbyshire

I'm a carbon-unit who writes; a Carbon Writer. Life & culture are my default topics, mixed with a little English wit & sarcasm. Full of mostly true stories, I occasionally remember to write them down. Found in a crowd, or contemplating in a corner. Habit of talking to anyone. Author.
- Nigel Derbyshire