Blogging - Motivation
This is a start of a series I am writing about blogging. It’s a reflection of the journey I have taken and highlights along the way.
I will go through the following topics related to my blogging journey in their own articles:
- motivation (this article)
- learnings from posts
- external benefits
- personal growth
If you are not blogging, I hope these articles will inspire you start. If you are struggling with a weekly blog, I share my stumbles and that the results are worth it. If you blog and have tips on ways I can improve, please contact me, I welcome connecting with other writers and learning ways to improve.
This article will take you about four minutes to read.
A friend asked me recently:
While I admit I haven’t had time to read most of your blog posts, I do wonder what your goals are with them. Are you trying to leave your legacy in written form? Or do you hope to eventually gain popularity as a coach? Or compile them into a book even?
That is a great question. I had to think on it for awhile to come to an answer. This question inspired this series of articles.
First, the answer to the question:
I blog to force myself to learn.
When I dove into a previous failure on my career, I realize that as a knowledge worker, my knowledge is my greatest asset. If I am not learning regularly, my asset is depleting.
Essentially, I blog to validate I am learning.
How I Started
I didn’t get into blogging when the blogging craze was starting with Movable Type, even though I was near the start of that trend in time & space. “Everyone around me” was blogging. I never got into blogging as it seemed like a “fad” at the time. (Although at the time, I did make my own phpBB to blog, but that’s another article.)
I encountered blogging again almost a decade later when I was reading Jon Sonmez’s book: Software Developer’s Career Guide. This book laid out these basic rules for a blog:
- have a specific theme
- write weekly
- post 1000 words
At the time, I was getting back into writing software and used this as a guide. Looking back, following the advice in this book has been valuable.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
– Lao Tzu
My first “post” was April 20, 2015, and it was bad. The most important thing: it’s a start. I remember there were decisions not related to the article.
- what blogging platform to use?
- which hosting provider?
- what domain name?
- which domain registrar?
- what theme to use?
In a way, the first post is the MVP - minimum viable product. Solving those questions allowed me to focus on posting, right?
The posting rate after the first post wasn’t every week either. The next post that had “real content” was almost three months after that post. The next post was three days?? Then one day?? Then one month??
Wow, I was all over the place from the start.
Start of Weekly Posts
The first post where I started to continuously post was April 29, 2016, a whole year after the first post!
The number of posts in between the first post and regular weekly posts?
Basically, it took me one year of an irregular posting schedule to get to a regular weekly schedule.
Now that I have done this blog for so long, I forget how much I have struggled at the beginning. 🤔
Learnings from Posting Regularly
I have found by following the above recipe on a weekly cadence, I have learned:
- nothing inspires like a deadline, nothing.
- to improve my knowledge - you can’t write what you don’t know.
- to research to round out knowledge or find a better way to do thing.
- posting weekly has made me stop to think about what I’ve done during the week
- there are topics I enjoy learning and writing about in work and life.
These are only the things I have learned from posting regularly. I will get into additional benefits as well.
As of this article, I have over 300 weekly posts done. To me, it feels weird not to post weekly on something. Why? I have kept the weekly schedule, even through:
- international trips
- migrating the blog from two different providers
- domain name host changes
- upgrading protocols from http to https
- three different companies
- job hunting
- going from being part of the team to managing the team
- the birth of my two children
- being a father
- not commuting for work anymore while being a father
I feel there’s no excuses why I cannot post an article every week. Other than a meteor destroying all life on Earth. 😀
Thank You Dad
The thing I find most ironic about me blogging constantly is when I was younger, my father always asked me to write a summary of what I read to “prove” I learned what I read.
At the time, I found writing these summaries annoying. Why write out something I just read?? Duh, if I need the information, it’s right here. That’s stupid and annoying!
Yet, here i am, doing the thing the stupid and annoying thing every week!
Honestly, writing a summary of what I did is the best way to prove I learned something. not only to someone else, but to me, even future me.
Dad, thank you for making me write summaries. I definitely appreciate this tool to ensure I learn.
Virtuous Learning Cycle
Ultimately, blogging creates a virtuous learning cycle.
- By writing thoughts down, I’m getting them out of my head.
- By getting them out of my head, I’m structuring my thoughts.
- By structuring my thoughts, I can access that information later.
- By accessing the information later, I can learn more now.
I will share learnings from writing specific posts I made, growing outside of my initial theme, learning more from writing specific articles.