It’s probably unusual to start the first post for a blog by talking about one’s past failures, and yet few things seem more appropriate right now.
My failure to start and commit to any kind of blog has been a recurring thorn in my side. There’s always been a litany of perfectly plausible excuses to draw on:
- I don’t have enough time right now
- Other things in my life are more important
- Building my startup should be my sole and top priority
The most pernicious lies we tell ourselves always seem to be the most comforting ones.
After reflecting on why the past attempts failed, I noticed a common theme: I kept starting things off not by writing text, but by writing software. The fun part for me was always writing the blog engine, the build pipeline, the database mappings. Each attempt rarely made it to the point where I was actually putting words down instead of code. Inevitably, I’d be sidetracked by self-imposed programming obstacles. The software, it turned out, was the thing I really wanted to build; the blog was just the convenient excuse to do it.
With the fresh perspective of a new year ahead, I decided it was finally time to take the drastic measures necessary to get myself writing again. One word at a time, one keystroke in front of another – the relentless yet somehow enjoyable slog of putting words on a page that even rank novices like me manage to derive satisfaction from.
To avoid falling into the same trap as before, I did something that was really hard for me: I didn’t write the blog engine from scratch. I allowed myself a few small fixes, but anything that didn’t get me closer to a single-command publish-to-the-Internet build pipeline was immediately scrapped. Nothing improves productivity so much as eliminating stuff you don’t really need to do.
The result: this blog, and more importantly, this post! We’ll see how it goes.