Engaging in a little bit of meta-blogging reflection here…
It’s been 103 months since I’ve started this blog, on what in retrospect was a valuable creative outlet that counterbalanced a mundane role I had in Google. You could tell that I had a lot more time to dedicate to jotting down thoughts; like most blogs, I mustered a flurry of initial activity which got tempered over the years into my weekly habit today. It takes me about 3 hours to pen a post with a 3-minute read time—the most common post length—so 7.5 years of weekly posts comes out to less than 1,200 hours of deliberate blogging practice, which places me well within the amateur ranks of writing on any level1.
But, writing for the better part of a decade, even if it’s sporadic and for a tiny audience, still confers benefits. I feel like keeping the habit of writing short-form prose, about a particular subject—or two or three—has made me a better writer and communicator, invaluable both as an engineer and manager. There have been a handful of times when I received positive and encouraging feedback from friends, and periodically people look me up prior to a job interview, both as interviewer and interviewee. I started jotting down mini-reviews for books I’ve read, in part just to remember which ones I have read, but also to occasionally point people to a post explaining why I’m making a recommendation.
Once in a while, people ask me whether they should start a blog as well given all these positive attributes of staking a corner of the internet for myself. I’ve certainly opined, perhaps overly so, on why I find the act of writing itself to be a valuable exercise, but within the context of blogging—where the barrier of entry is indeed so low—more credence should naturally accrue to duration and persistence. Like the movie or music industries, “hit” blog posts come and go2; the hardest part is sustaining success over long periods of time. Given how fast blogs usually come and go, endurance alone can be a powerful defining characteristic .
So basically, all of the above is a dragged out way of saying that I’ve been doing this for a long time, I’ve forced myself to put in the effort to habitualize and almost ritualize the act of blogging and make it more enjoyable than chore, and I’d like to keep at it for at least the decade mark.
Thanks for reading.
Yes, I’m well aware that the 10,000 hours of deliberate practice standard has been thoroughly debunked already.↩
I’ve found it hard to predict which topics will be popular prior to publishing, but then again I decided a while ago that I didn’t care that much for clickbaity content or SEO optimizations.↩