How not to start writing a blog

06 Jun 2023

If you're looking for writing advice, this is not it. If you're looking for a cautionary tale from a fellow developer and part-time perfectionist, read on.

Here's how not to start writing a blog: Don't try to build the perfect blog first.

Procrastinating by being "productive"

I've had the goal of starting a blog for awhile now. I believe there's only so much I can claim to understand if I can't also communicate what I know, well.

For months years I thought I was being so productive, working hard towards this goal. But after rebuilding this website from scratch for the umpteenth time, I realized I've succeeded in writing exactly zero words since the start of this whole endeavour.

I'm not a writer, and personally I find sharing my thoughts on the internet scarier than sharing my code (though which one is really more terrifying is definitely up for debate). So I found a way to feel productive by doing the easy thing while putting off the big hurdle: Build a website, build it again, build it better; avoid writing at all costs.

Start before you feel ready

This is not an original idea, but one that bears repeating. Don't create a checklist of arbitrary things to do before getting around to what you set out to do. It's never going to get any easier if you keep putting it off (and we both know that checklist can be as long as we make it).

Don't wait until you've build the perfect website to start writing. Don't wait until you've written the perfect first article to share it.

Here's to cringy first drafts and perpetual works in progress. I hope we can look back at this a hundred posts from now and feel simultaneously nostalgic and embarrassed about it.