I'm committing to 30 days of blogging.
Every day for a month I'm going to write something about my life, as a developer, father, husband, whatever. I hope they're all fantastic and riveting (yeah right), but mostly I'm just trying to push myself to do something I've been meaning to do for awhile - write more naturally... find my rhythm.
The blogs I enjoy reading the most, the ones I come back to, are the ones that bring something personal into the mix, that aren't afraid to show a human side. They connect the dots between technology and people. I've written quite a few posts over the last few years, but they're overwhelmingly technical in nature. I'd like to change that, but so far with no milestones, deadlines or accountability, it just hasn't happened. Let's see if I can change that.
A Few Goals
- Write a post every day for 30 days.
- The topic doesn't have to be about a specific technology (though it can be), but it should relate to IT or STEM somehow.
- Length doesn't matter. I expect some days are going to have shorter writeups than others.
- I'll publish each one on Twitter under #30DaysOfBlogging, even if it's embarrassingly short.
- Missing one day a week is okay, but it adds a day to the end.
- Reflect on the experience after 30 days
- When did I feel I wrote better posts? Worse posts? Why?
- Did I have to make any sacrifices to make this possible?
- Did this just lead to quantity over quality, or did it push me to be more honest about my experiences with technology?
- Do I ever want to write anything again?
I got hit with a few articles in the past couple of weeks that finally pushed me over the edge.
Who wouldn't want to write a best-selling book or lose weight or earn more money? Everybody wants to achieve these goals. The real challenge is not determining if you want the result, but if you are willing to accept the sacrifices required to achieve your goal. Do you want the lifestyle that comes with your quest? Do you want the boring and ugly process that comes before the exciting and glamorous outcome?
It's easy to sit around and think what we could do or what we'd like to do. It is an entirely different thing to accept the tradeoffs that come with our goals. Everybody wants a gold medal. Few people want to train like an Olympian.
Then I came across Tanner Christensen (A Better Way to Compare Yourself). He reminds us that comparing ourselves to everyone else (something I do all the freaking time) is ultimately discouraging, unless we identify exactly what we'd like to change about ourselves, then set up clear steps to close the gap. (that's the important part)
When I compare myself I end up feeling like I’d rather watch TV or play video games than do anything else, because why bother? I could never do what those I admire have been able to.
Identifying a gap—in experience, knowledge, or ability—is important, but only as much as it is a gap between where you are and where you want to be. Everything else is just noise. If you’re not certain of where you want to be, it’s easier to get discouraged by anything you come across. But when your motivations are clear, the things that discourage you are really just signposts on where you need to go next.
I also discovered some awesome people doing awesome things by setting ultimatums.
Jen Dewalt (How I Built 180 Websites in 180 days) quit her job (!) to persue her goal of becoming a programmer. As the title suggests, she wrote 180 websites in 180 days, starting very basic and working up to a node.js site.
Shekhar Gulati (52 technologies in 2016) attempted to "learn a new technology, build a simple application using it, and blog about it"... once a week.
Alexander Kallaway (Join the #100DaysOfCode) started the 100 Days of Code challenge, pushing himself - and anyone else looking for more practice - to do something every day and share it on GitHub: "What I plan to do less of is what I would call “passive relaxation time.” This is when I sit down to watch something, and my time each evening is eaten, episode by episode."
Blogging isn't for everyone, but you won't know unless you try! I've had good experiences with DigitalOcean and Namecheap (aff links) for hosting and domain names. DO makes it easy to setup and maintain a site, and has always been quick to provide support. They've got one-click installs for WordPress and Ghost (this blog runs on Ghost), and here's a great tutorial for setting up SSL on a Ghost blog.