It’s Friday. I’ve slipped again – I try to write these on Wednesdays. But hey ho, writing one now is better than skipping it. Why is it better than skipping it? Why do I write weeknotes in the first place? I’ve been pondering that a little bit lately.
Initially I considered my weeknotes as a method of regularly sharing stuff I’m getting up to in the realm of GIS, that a future prospective employer might skim and be intrigued by. I say initially referring to my first weeknote but I did in fact reiterate that when rebooting my weeknotes recently. And while that remains true I find myself leaning more into the general idea of just publishing something regularly on my blog, whatever it might be.
I read a bunch of blogs from folks in the IndieWeb world, and in recent reading I found my way to https://www.carrietian.com/running-my-newsletter/. It wrapped up with “advice before starting a newsletter” which started with:
Know what you want to get out of it!
which got me thinking about why do I even write weeknotes? The idea of “a forcing function to write” resonated with me, but moreso is the idea of a forcing function to publish. I ramble in my notes plenty but much less often do I ramble on my website. And I want to change that.
Thinking about it some more, and skipping through some of my notes via ankibox, I came across one titled “stop worrying about conclusions” – that note contains the following tweets from Simon Willison:
Want to know the secret to blogging more often?
Lower your standards!
A post which you don’t think is ready yet is a LOT better than a giant folder full of drafts that no-one ever gets to see
(Your readers won’t ever know how good the thing you wanted to write would have been)
One of the biggest productivity improvements I ever made to my blogging was when I gave up on my desire to finish everything with a sparkling conclusion that ties together the whole post
Now I embrace abruptly ending when I’ve run out of things to say instead
And something occurred to me. I’ve somewhat embraced the idea of ending blog posts (or indeed weeknotes) abruptly when I’ve run out of things to say. It’s not finishing a post I’ve started that is (currently) the hurdle on my mind, it’s starting a post in the first place. So I’ve created a new note to accompany that one:
stop worrying about introductions
Sometimes when I do get started trying to write something I envision as a blog post, I get caught up in starting it off. I feel like I need to explain a bunch of context before the thing I wanted to say will make any sense. And sure, I’m sure plenty of potential future posts where I don’t worry about the introduction and setting up as much context for the reader as I feel I have will lead to things that don’t necessarily make sense. But so what? I’m not writing with the expectation that it will make sense to everyone. Whatever I write, it’s only ever going to make sense to so many people. Even if I tried to add all the context I have, there are still people it won’t make sense to. So just cut to the chase and write about the thing you sat down to write about.
Relatedly, I have a couple of notes along the idea of “write for yourself” which I’m now going to link this blog post in, because I think future me will benefit from re-reading that last sentence there.
Oh and before I stop here, back to the idea of knowing what you want to get out of it. I reached the conclusion that I want to feel more comfortable sharing my thoughts on stuff. I don’t need sparkling conclusions and context-filled introductions to feel more comfortable posting rambles on my blog. I just need to do it more often. And weeknotes are a way to do it at least once a week.