The next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you’ve always wanted to try, and give it a shot! – Matt Cutts in his TED Talk “Try something new for 30 days”
Those words really resonated with me when I watched [Matt Cutt’s TED Talk], and launched into the idea of writing a blog post once per day for 30 days.
I latched onto writing on my blog because for years it’s been a very inconsistent, on/off activity – one that had close to the lowest priority in my life. Inverting the priority of this activity has forced me to really consider the how and why’s of keeping a blog.
What I’ve discovered:
- I can’t post something unless I give it an hour or more of my attention (the quality of the writing goes way down with less time, to the point where I am writing what essentially amounts to a long-form tweet or a facebook/g+ type of post)
- Most of the posts I’m particuarly happy with were written either early in the morning before work or before dinner time (the longer I put it off, the more likely I was to fall into the trap of posting filler for filler’s sake)
- Writing down questions about, and snippets of, code that I don’t understand really helped me focus and gain a deeper understanding than I would have if I just looked at it – subsequently, I feel like these were some of my best posts in terms of content (if not in quality of writing)
- Filler for filler’s sake makes nobody happy…
The result of this challenge has really made me think about how I want to write, how often I want to write, and what I feel like I’m good(ish) at writing. The conclusion I’ve come too is that I don’t what to write a post every day. I just end up with lots of filler that clutters up my blog and makes it look a little more trashy and irrelevant.
I’ve considered how to proceed, and I think I still want to write and work on a post or article every day, but only publish once per week. There are times when I think I’ll probably post more – I post everything to the main blog, and then have a ‘brewlog’ which is a tagged subset of posts about brewing… those posts, and similiar posts, will probably still be published irreguarly. I won’t be considering those posts my weekly article.
The subject matter I’ve enjoyed most this past month has definitely been the Nim! posts – writing was a great way to focus and clarify the process of learning Nim. In the future, I’d like to continue to apply this technique to learning more than just new computer languages.
- Posting just to post is out.
- I’m going to post a regular article once per week.
- My regular article will be about learning something new.
- My regular article will be made with intent, not on the spur of the moment
What’s next? Yesterday I posted about wanting to brush off some dust on my math skills and really learn how to do proper physical simulation in (2D) games. Specifically, I’m considering writing about developing a Nim library or framework for simple 2D physics… purely as an exercise to develop my understanding of the math required in such a case.