Friday, November 09, 2007

Coding Horror and the Lessons It Teaches

Coding Horror is a website I recently discovered through Jason, one of my friends from work. Jeff Atwood, the blogger who runs Coding Horror, writes about a number of different computer related things, many of which are of direct interest to me. A word of warning: if you aren't a developer / computer person, your interest in the site will be limited.

One of the things he wrote about recently was his success with his blog and what the trick to having a successful blog is. The part that struck a chord with me was the frequency: he suggested that you pick a scheduled number of posts and stick with it.

After reading this, I realized that I had been neglecting my blog; while I do not write about a specific topic, and the audience I really write for is mostly just myself, I felt that I would benefit from the discipline of writing a predetermined number of times per week. Additionally, I do enjoy writing and story-telling and a schedule would encourage me to take the time to do something I enjoy.

Two weeks ago, I decided to revamp my blog and also picked a posting schedule: I am posting three times a week, preferably on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Thus far, I have not missed a day. I think part of my success comes from several things: the first is that, with a schedule, I now have a target posting deadline in mind, and I will start a day or two before I actually post; this gives me plenty of time to formulate an idea for a post and to fill it out in time to meet my schedule.

The second is that I only write about one thing per post now; previously, I would notice that I hadn't posted in a long while and try to cram everything I had to say into one post. This would leave me without anything to say for the next post, and there would be a large gap between posts, again.

The third is that I am less picky about the final result. I don't mean to say that quality isn't important, but not every post has to be a perfect dissertation on a topic of utmost urgency and importance. I am much more likely to post now that I don't feel like I need to be profound.

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