Learning to write again

Last weekend, I attended the Google Developers Experts Summit in Sunnyvale, California. During the summit, some GDEs delivered quick, 5-minute lightning talks on interesting projects or experiences they had over the course of their career.

As you would expect, there were a lot of interesting people doing a lot of interesting things, but the talk that stood out to me the most was Uri Shaked’s talk on his one-blog-a-day challenge. For 30 days, he challenged himself to write a blog post on just about anything.

This challenge really spoke to me because, as I have mentioned a few times on social media, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to write as much as I would like and as much as I used to. There are two main reasons for this:

The first is that I felt like I couldn’t write shorter, less deeply technical articles. Since my blog grew and gained more readership, I felt like my readers would want the more long-form and very technical articles. I recently came across an article Sara Soueidan wrote, in which she very aptly explained this feeling:

With time, people got used to my writing style, and my lengthy, detailed deep dives that sort of became a distinguishing quality of my articles. So as the years went by, I started judging the quality of my articles by whether or not they match my previous style, and hence whether or not people would like them. And this is where I felt like I started losing my direction.

When I first started this blog, the aim was to share little “bits of code” (get it?) that I was learning. It was meant to be a resource for myself, as writing is a great way to consolidate knowledge, but also as a resource for other developers who were learning like me. Although writing the longer articles isn’t a negative progression, I started being afraid of doing the what I started out with. And this became a hinderance to me writing anything at all.

The second reason is that I felt like I needed to stay in the “HTML, CSS, & JavaScript” box. Although these are still my primary technologies, a large amount of my day job and hobbies include venturing outside these foundational languages. At BuyCoins, I work with the Ionic framework (and as a result Angular) and there are so many things I have learned from working with these technologies that I could share, but chose not to because I felt like my blog should maintain it’s topic. Even outside frontend development, I would like to explore other topics in technology, and experiences learning them.

30 articles in 30 days (sort of)

In order to get out of this rut and force myself to just write again, I want to try Uri’s one-blog-a-day challenge. I’m going to challenge myself to write 5 articles every week for the next 30 days. Most of the articles will be short, the aim is less than 500 words each day. Some of the articles will be on topics I haven’t covered before.

If you want to join in with me, leave a comment below with your blog URL, I’d love to check out what you’re writing too!

I'm counting this article as the first of 30, so I'll see you here again tomorrow :)

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