I’ve started and quit multiple blogs over the years. The habit has never stuck. I think there are three reasons for this:
- I set overly ambitious writing goals
- I forget why I’m doing it in the first place
- I only focus on long form, technical content. Which takes a long time to produce and isn’t enough to keep me interested
Setting overly ambitions writing goals
I tend to set an output quota goal. For example, release 1 blog post per day. There are some famous bloggers who do this, Seth Godin and Fred Wilson spring to mind, so it seems like a good idea. The problem is that it starts to feel like a chore. When I don’t hit my goal, I feel like a failure.
I think a better strategy is to devise a writing “system”. Scott Adams talks about the benefit of systems over goals, in his book. Tim ferris also talks about this. He says: “write two crappy pages per day”. For myself, I’m going to try writing for 10 minutes every day. Some days I may do more but 10 minutes will be my baseline. My hope is that this will produce a steady stream of blog posts but I’ll make no promise about quantity or consistency.
I forgot why I was doing it in the first place
Usually, when I start a new blog, it’s because I’m inspired for some particular reason. Perhaps the reason is to build my personal brand or to earn ad revenue. Whatever the goal, each time I gave up it was because I forgot why I started in the first place. My ‘why’ isn’t clear.
This time around, my ‘why’ is clear:
To have something to say, build my reputation, contribute something back to the conversation and build a tribe of people who are eager to hear from me.
I only focus on long term, technical content
My previous attempts at writing have been programmer focused blogs. I identify most as a programmer, although this is not my only skill. Writing posts that explain a technology in details feels safe. I’m not required to have an opinion. Nobody will strongly disagree with what I’m saying.
This time around, I’m betting that people won’t want to read long, documentation like posts about software tools. I’m betting that people are more interested in my perspective and opinions.
This content will be easier and more fun for me to write. I hope it will make writing easier and allow me to produce more. Of course, I will still be writing technical posts when I think I can add value.
I’m looking forward to this new challenge. I hope I can keep it up and I hope you enjoy reading.