Joel Kleier's Electric Froth


30 Day Challenge, COMPLETE

by Joel Kleier on 2014-11-21

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:

  1. 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)

  2. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

In short:

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.