Do it quick
When you start a blog post, do it quick. Publish as soon as possible.
Where blog ideas goes to die
I have used Google Docs as a place to draft blog ideas. Over the years I have a accumulated a lot of unfinished blog idea documents that never have and never will be posted.
Some are just one liners. The brief idea of a possible blog posts.
Some are more extensive with a few paragraphs, and some outline plans for the blog post.
Some have been redited a few times of the years with different view points in the same draft.
And they all are extremely unlikely to ever be finished and published on my blog.
Why? Because of time.
Why? Because ideas are relevant to now, the time when you have the idea, the inspiration, the point of view that will be published in that blog post.
Certainly my inspiration to write a specific posts wanes over time.
If I had been hurt or frustrated by something, that pain will heal a bit and any irritation will wither and feel less important.
If something has inspired me or made me laugh, that will be less funny or powerful as time moves on.
If I have just come up with an idea to solve a problem, over time my desire to solve that may change.
Maybe it is no longer a problem, maybe it no longer hurts nor cheer me up.
Maybe I have found other solutions.
Maybe I don’t have time to write something that I no longer think is that important any more.
Also over time some ideas, frustration, solutions are simply forgotten. Or at least the details to make it worth writing a blog post.
Or embarrassing as I no longer am sure where and from whom I could attribute the original idea to.
Point of view changes
Another important point is that my point of view changes over time.
I may have experienced other ideas, tools, solutions, etc that may work better, or experienced that what I was writing about does not work well.
Or as mentioned above I feel less passionate about it.
I have noticed that in several of the longer long-lived non-published blog drafts, that they often seem to contain different views in different parts of the drafts. And have been rewritten several times.
When reading those drafts they would be a poor blog post. The start may lean towards one point of view, but the end seems to have another. Not very coherent.
Not fresh technology or process
And sometimes the blog idea was related to a new piece of technology, or new process or method I have just learned from colleagues or a conference.
And these may start to feel stale. Newer technologies may have replaced it. Better processes may have been born to replace it.
Or they are now too well established so a blog posts would feel like preaching to the choir.
So my solution these days is to blog quick.
Write and publish it whilst the idea is fresh, the passion is high, and points of view does not change.
I try with the blog posts, and the howto articles on my flurdy.com site, to publish drafts live if they more or less covering most points.
With typos and missing minor sections.
Edit live posts
Then I quickly edit and tweak it whilst continuing to publish the changes.
I guess that inspires me to focus and make sure it is finish, and quickly. Before anyone notices.
I think these also leans to better quality blog posts. As they are focussed, not over elaboration, not over polished. More to the point, with less cruft.
More blog posts
This hopefully encourages people to write more blog posts. There is less barrier to write a post, less guilt over drafts living on forever.
Just brain storm, quick typo and polish, and done. And move on in life.
I do remember a university lecturer of mine advising us all to prevent any writers block, at the start of any assignments etc, to first of all just brain dump for 20 minutes.
Just write down anything you think of related to the assignment. Don’t think, don’t doubt, just dump it onto the keyboard.
Then you can split, move, delete the sentences afterwards as it will be lot easier to continue then. And in todays computer world as opposed to the old type/letter writing days this works well.
Most of my one liner ideas are now pushed onto my twitter feed instead. Throw it out there to my poor followers as a raw idea. If it is good I can build upon the 140 characters into a blog posts.
Not just blog posts
I think these concepts are probably well known. And not limited to blog posts.
It obviously also works with projects, chores, and other ideas and tasks that need focus and especially those where an early brain dump onto paper/screen can help.
Where project ideas goes to die
I have many project ideas at code.flurdy.com. But most of the older ideas will never be touched.
If I have an idea for a project, I must do it now, and do it quick.
Make a MVP quickly. Throw it out there. Iterate over it for a little. Make it useful. Then move on to the next idea.
Most of my older ideas are no longer important to me.
Disagree with old posts
As my points of view changes over the years, I now disagree with many (nearly all) of my older blog posts.
But they show what I thought at the time and I am proud of them, so removing them makes no sense.
Though it is annoying when people ask (or worse just assume) “why do I today think X is so bad/good”? When it may be 5 or 10 years since I thought so. And then maybe only for a very brief point in time.
So no, I no longer think Jira is great, nor that Spring and Java is fantastic, nor that I will never touch Scrum.
So don’t hold back, if you think of an idea - blog it quick. And don’t postpone - blog now.
Unless otherwise specified, all content is licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY).
Externally linked images and content are not included and are licensed and copyrighted separately.