HACK / MAKE

The Fourth Wall

When I started this site I made a few assumptions about who you, kind Reader, would be. If you believe in the same kind of design process that I do, these assumptions need to happen to know what to design against. I needed to make an imaginary reader—before I had any real ones—so I could write to them. I imagined this reader to be educated, whether institutionally or personal driven to learn, creative, and explorative in ways of improving themselves. I imagined someone who was technical and grasped the benefits of what technology brings, but viewed it from a humanistic manner. I pictured my reader to have taste and yearn for things to be beautiful and useful, constantly in search for things that functioned in a way that they could believe in and trust.

From what I can tell, whether what I’ve written has attracted that imaginary person or if you were here all along, I think that assumption has been right. Most of the people I’ve met online who read this are those things and you probably are too.

With an assumption of who you were I began writing. Over 12 months and 62,430 words1 so far, I’ve been figuring out my obsession and voice. Most of those posts came in in the form of essays: longer pieces with a more formal tone and structure. That type of writing has been helpful for me to form my ideas but are really hard to do. That type of post takes a lot of time and energy to write and edit. It can be exhausting and often leaves me feeling broken after.

That feeling is a good thing, I think. I guess it’s what you feel like when you break your own conceptions and let art happen. That’s a thing I want to keep seeking but I want to be able to write and share with you without feeling like I need to have a cigarette—and I don’t even smoke—or go on vacation after I write a long piece.

So I need to break the fourth wall.

Maybe I’ve been scared to be completely honest and that I’ve felt I can hide behind nice words and cerebral essays. I’ve found excuses to avoid talking metaphysically about the things I write here mainly because I’ve felt that the output of those wouldn’t be any help to anyone but me. I’ve painted poetic about a journey of becoming better without talking a whole lot about the times where I’ve felt stuck, lonely, and lost along the way—which happen frequently.

I don’t yet know what form you’ll see this next step in. I don’t think it will change the thread these articles have been following but maybe just come from a different perspective sometimes; discussing a place of struggle just as much as progress.


I also want to thank you.

Thanks for coming along on this journey so far and for sharing in my excitement for life and insanely great things. This past year, largely in part of what writing has lead me towards, has been incredible and the people I’ve connected with have made me really excited about exploring together for a long time to come. If you’ve been reading for a while or are just recent, we should chat on Twitter—I’m @nickwynja—or on the inadequately-named alpha.app.net. I always learn so much from conversations with smart people like yourself.


Derek Sivers, had this to say in a recent post comparing spending personal time locally or globally:

If you’re global, then you want to focus on creating things that can reach out through distribution to the whole world. But this means you’ll have less time to be part of your local community.

I want to be part of that and build something great. I believe me being more honest and open with you about my process of becoming and us sharing in a conversation about that will help us make something really cool together.


  1. Another benefit of publishing with a Dropbox-based platform is you can run shell commands, like wc on all your posts. 

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