Blogging: Learning - Creativity
This is 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:
- learnings from posts
- creativity (this article)
- structure thoughts
- 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 three minutes to read.
Whenever I think of creativity, the best thing I have done is to set a deadline.
The ultimate inspiration is the deadline
-― Nolan Bushnell
How do deadlines fit with creativity?
Well, only by having a deadline, I force myself to make decisions faster. Prioritize publishing the post by the deadline. Get… creative!
The deadline helps when I start the post late or other things in life happens.
At the same time, the tools I gain from working with a deadline I give myself on my own project help me in other knowledge work, such as programming.
With a weekly deadline to post something, I develop tools to help meet these deadlines. I can’t do something for five years every week in different life situations and not develop tools to help me.
Creative tools I gained from having a weekly deadline:
- scope down on a topic - especially when I am too ambitous
- broaden topics to write about - don’t limit myself
- listen to my inner voice - what’s been on my mind constantly?
- creating processes from the result
- working backwards - having the end in mind
- editing better - getting better leaving stuff out
- cut the intro and go right to the key insight
- going with what I have
- writing faster - well, duh!
Creating a post weekly is an endeavour that I am loving. The blood, sweat, tears from each article forces me to use all the above tools in some form. Even this article is making me use them now!
The “More Time” Fantasy
At the beginning, I did give myself “more time” to finish up the article. “If I had more time, this article will be perfect”.
What happened every time I did that?
I pretty much just stopped developing the article more OR the scope of the article kept growing.
In the cases where article development just stopped after giving myself more time, I realize that I didn’t have anything more to say, yet, part of me wasn’t satisfied with the current result.
To get to a level of saying something more, I would have to invest more than just “another week”. What I did up to that point got me so far, to goto the next level, I might have to do something different.
So, I stopped.
Hence, I realize the next week, I should have just gone with what I had last week and move on. The result would be the same, except I would post the article on time!
Another common situation when I give myself more time: I continue to work on the article more. Sometimes I do more after the initial deadline.
As I work on the article more, I add more to it.
Now that I am adding more, I need more time. Well, if I need even more time, the original extension isn’t enough.
Ultimately, I won’t produce a result by any deadline because I keep adding more and hence, extending more.
Creativity as a Process
As I get better working with the tools I do have, I develop new tools and/or get into new situations where my old tools are not as effective.
So I need new tools again.
It’s a never ending process - and this is something I learn on a constant basis.
As much as I want to say I mastered blogging, there’s something new to learn.
The great thing about these tools are that they are not limited to just writing or blogging, they transfer over to other knowledge work.
How some of these tools have crossed over:
|scope down on a topic||focusing on problem|
|broaden topics to write about||applying different problem solving strategies|
|listen to my inner voice||creating tests for edge cases|
|creating processes from the result||programming paradigms (?)|
|working backwards||knowing the end function|
|editing better||clean code & good variable names|
|cut the intro and go right to the key insight||code the function that will do key part of the work|
|going with what I have||working code is better than no code|
|writing faster||code faster! :-)|
Well, it’s not a 1:1 correlation. The cross over effect happens because I do feel the same “stress” when I am programming and writing under a deadline.
When I programmed, I had fewer knowledge tools to manage the stress. From writing, I bring over to programming more knowledge tools and with experience using them. DDD = deadline driven development!
I enjoy having these new tools from blogging weekly to help me in my day job.