TL;DR: moving to calliepetch.com on Friday, site’s gonna be weird for up to a month whilst I fix everything.
It took about two straight years of my friends-at-the-time ribbing my infamously lengthy Twitter threads for me to finally get a “blog” of my own. Not out of a stubbornness or belief that my voice and sub-150 followers in the Twitter void were just so important that I could not be contained by a tiny blog squared away in the back-alley of the ‘Net’s overpopulated blogger-sphere. But more because I actually didn’t think I was that important, that I couldn’t justify breaking away from a very secure and useful position as part of the writing arm of Failed Critics helping build that blog up further with their guaranteed traffic. I didn’t know what I was doing or how to turn this hobby of mine I really wanted to be a paying career into a paying career, figuring that sticking loyally with what worked would eventually magically open the right door to wages and a viable path.
But after talking constantly with my then-friends at the time about it, I was finally convinced it would be a good idea to make my own place on the ‘Net. Make it a hub for my work so far, put new stuff on in the future, an easy portfolio people could look to more than a traditional blog. I did initially plan on calling it “Callum Petch, Got a Blog” as part of said in-joke my friends would yell at me when I double-digit tweeted about the Battlestar Galactica or My Little Pony episode I had just watched for the third time that week, but was talked out of it since this was meant to be professional. WordPress professional. Hence why, both for professional simplicity and to hide the fact that naming things is easily my weakest area as a writer, I bought a URL and titled the site at large simply as my then-name “Callum Petch.”
Sound plan, worked well for five years when I didn’t have the knowledge, support system, or inclination to dive deeper into why exactly I felt so uncomfortable with my biological sex and why many references to my assigned gender stuck in my craw so deeply. Domain and mapping renewals came up every year in mid-June and mid-July – despite both being started at the same time, WordPress for some reason demands their payment a month ahead of schedule and they’ve been defensively evasive whenever I’ve queried about that – and were paid without issue… until last year. May 2020, I got my 30-day notification warning from WordPress about the automatic renewal for domain mapping and this time I hesitated. Not from thinking of sunsetting my site altogether, although I have seriously considered it on and off over the years, but from the fact of that URL. “callumpetch.com.”
It didn’t feel like me anymore, just like my traditionally-male name didn’t feel like me anymore. I’d been trialling Callie Petch out in certain safe spaces – save game file names, Disney+ profiles, Bandcamp, conversations with my non-binary friend Moosey – for a couple of months and that felt better. More natural, more honest, more me. Just like how changing the titles on orders which let me do so from “Mr.” to “Mx” felt right, I was becoming more comfortable with and accepting of my true non-binary self even if I was still scared to be open about it (as I’m sure y’all could probably tell from most of my 2020 work through to that October). And as I grew more comfortable with that reality, the URL question became harder to dodge. Ultimately, I renewed both aspects for another year though I didn’t feel great about it and I knew that next year would be the tipping point as to how I would proceed going forward. (At the time, I didn’t know when I would come out in any capacity to anyone; I was still relying on the hope that the specialist gender-identity therapy would arrive lickety-split and answer all my questions instead of my having to do so myself.)
Well, it’s domain renewal time again and I think it’s been clear around here how that subject has panned out.
On Friday, this site is moving to calliepetch.com.
Been a little while coming but, yep, the shift is finally happening. All of this content is being migrated to calliepetch.com; all eight years and 850+ posts of it. The domain was bought last Tuesday and I’m gonna initiate the WordPress mapping on Friday.
The site may be a bit of an absolute mess for up to a month afterwards.
I have never done a domain transfer before. No idea how any of this works and trying to go through a whole bunch of what I think were Hover’s official domain transfer channels looks to cost a lot of time and additional money I don’t have. So, we’re blunt-forcing this and hoping for the best. Fingers crossed that at the very least every page and post will cleanly switch over to the main domain, leaving my job being just “go through every single post fixing inter-site hyperlinks which are all gonna keep directing to the dead-link otherwise.” That, what with 850+ articles at this post-time, is probably gonna still take quite a bloody while, especially in the posts from 2018 onwards when I finally realised that inter-site hyperlinks to past articles are actually a really good idea to drive reader engagement and also not spend 250 words restating past thoughts anytime something tangentially related is brought up. But it will also allow me to do some long-overdue readability cleaning, format standardising, and deadname scrubbing from said old posts so it’s not all bad. Your patience is greatly appreciated in advance.
This isn’t really a relaunch. I don’t want to make any grand plans or promises or anything like that since, as has been proven copious numbers of times in the last six years, I’m bad at sticking to shit. I hope to fire back up a certain chart-based music history series which is tabbed on every page-top and that I really enjoyed doing but has been quiet since Nov of 2019 because I and the world have been going through some stuff, but I’m not committing to anything yet. Trying to hold myself to arbitrary deadlines when everything keeps being in flux just makes me feel like shit when I don’t hit them which in turn exacerbates my block and creative lapses, so I’m trying to ween off of that. Move onto more of a “when it’s done” approach to my non-STT (or heaven hoping anywhere else professional) work that’ll hopefully be better for me and for you reading. Same with any future hypotheticals I’ve had for years about pivoting to video or launching something like Patreon or anything; stop worrying and just do what feels natural.
Thanks for reading, whether you’ve been following for an age or have only just hopped on as everything’s about to switch. And if you’re reading this post after the switch – which I’m keeping up because I wrote some personal non-binary talk rather than just doing a simple “hey, site’s moving!” cos I’m still uncomfortable with normal short business-y blogging – then, yes, the move was definitely a pain in the arse. Don’t URL your own name, folks. It’s like getting a crappy tattoo, you never know when you might have a major gender-identity revelation that means your permanent commitment looks real goddamned stupid to fix.