After writing 300 posts, this is why I think you should start blogging too

300thpost

TL;DR

In this post I’m going to share with you:

  • few things that I learned from writing 300 posts
  • why I think you should start blogging as well
  • my thanks to one ever so slightly awesome role model

Backup your stuff

This tip may come as unexpected, given the fact that this is actually a 302nd post on my blog and one could argue that by now I have some system in place for dealing with that, right? Well, yeah, but so it is that this is the second time I’m writing this post from scratch.

Yeah, please don’t ask; I always keep a backup of backups (how meta, right?) but in this particular case, I was ‘smart’ and had it on my Desktop.

Seriously bro, Desktop!? What are you, like, 2015!?

I know, I know.

Don’t you, like, have Time Machine backup, or something.

Yeah, I do, but it wasn’t backed up… You know what, please just stop putting additional salt on the already burning wounds. Thank you very much, it’s enough of a lesson without it.

Actually, you know, just the other day I watched this movie, and it could be that my safest bet would probably be to ask (nicely, of course) No Such Agency if they have it on file somewhere. OK, joking a bit; I honestly don’t care – we may as well all be in The Truman Show and so what – do your best with the hand you’ve been dealt.

The beginnings

One doesn’t come to write 300 posts overnight, and we all start somewhere. My humble beginnings started on August 15, 2013, when I published my first post about Carcassonne scoring board application. I wrote the 100th post overview on December 28, 2014, and the 200th post overview on August 20, 2015.

With this 300th overview being published today on the last day of 2016, I’m roughly below 100 posts in average per year, which is not too shabby, but I’m striving to do better.

My approach

I’m happy to say that my approach hadn’t changed from the time when I wrote the 200th post overview and that it’s still some kind of an inner drive to:

…help people by bridging this seemingly invisible gap between the awesome programmers and not-so-awesome programmers who would use a bit of step by step help, by making my tutorials straight to the point with each step, without skipping the ever so slightly “obvious” parts.

OK, but why!?

OK, seriously now man, in this day and age, tell me what are you getting out of this?

Let me be lazy and use the same quote I did last time:

You learn the best when you have to teach someone something.

So, when I learn something new, or when I stumble upon a problem that I can’t solve for some time I benefit from documenting it on my blog in few ways:

  • I tend to remember things way longer when I actually write them down
  • I potentially help someone else who may stumble at the same error in future
  • I have a reference for when I need to look it up

Also, by breaking things down to the core concepts and then being able to see the bigger picture is an invaluable skill to have, and Einstein said it best:

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

Seriously, where’s the catch!?

There’s not. And, in case you don’t buy into all this I just want to help you with my blog, you can take a look at the number of my StackOverflow answers, two books (1, 2) I’m giving away for free, or come to a free meetup that I’m hosting once a month. Anyways, I’m not trying to market myself or show how super I am; I’m merely making a point as to what I’m saying.

Opportunities and why I think you should start writing a blog

However, (aha!, now we have him!!), I have to tell you one thing that will inevitably happen. As you start writing a blog and solving things and publishing it for other people to learn from you will inevitably come out as an expert in the field (in case you specialized) and thus you’ll get more opportunities than you can even imagine. Book writing offers, consulting and conference speaking gigs, you name it.

The process of achieving consistency

I’m a firm believer in processes that are used and cultivated for good, as it takes a lot of “I don’t feel like it” situations out of an equation. And, I believe, you know that these days tend to just ‘happen’, and then magically stretch on for weeks until you gather your thoughts and snap out of it.

Thus, my advice for writing more is nothing new, and you hear it probably all over the Internetz. The problem is that its hard, and people tend to run away from hard things these days. The sole ‘tool’ which you have to nurture, train and maintain is consistency.

Put in the work daily, fail, learn, get up, improve, put in the work, fail, learn, improve. Mary go round… The next thing you know it, you won’t be thinking about the process anymore, you’ll live it, preach it. However, this is hard, I know. But you’re in it for the long run, remember? So, put your hand on the plow and keep on…

Thus, if you want to start writing blog posts about some topic, just start today. Don’t go and read a book on the topic (chances are you’ll never finish it in the first place :/). Just freaking do it already! Share what you’ve learned along the way. In case a year from now you won’t be ashamed by the quality of your posts you did back then, then my friend, you haven’t grown, and it’s time for some introspection (the same rule applies to your code if you’re a software developer).

Read more nonfiction books

Don’t get me wrong; one can learn from fiction books as well. However, imagine you read 10 pages a day of some book that’s related to what you’re trying to achieve (C#, PHP, Soft skills, Finance even, …).

No, Facebook doesn’t count. Drop that already. That’s like talking into the wind if you’re talking at all, that is.

In one month you would read 300 pages of some book. And in one year you’d read 12 books. Now, imagine you take and apply only one idea from each of those books – how different do you think your life would be? How much more valuable do you think you could be to your society, spouse, child, yourself if you invest in yourself?

Ok, and now to address the elephant in the room:

What is this new age success/growth mindset that you’ve got going on here?

Yeah, the only post where I kind of touched this was the one about Makers vs Consumers – don’t hate, donate. And, I’m not going to ramble on and on why you should read more. I’m just going to say that I agree with the following quote:

Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development.
~ Jim Rohn

Homerun posts

Two posts that I’m very proud of (and have been published on Pluralsight) are:

Few of the posts on this blog have indeed been doing well:

Few other posts worth mentioning:

What’s next for me?

I’ve been putting off blogging about Ionic 2 for far too long now, and now when the dust has settled, I’m going to go into this fully, so expect a flood of posts concerning that in this year. As I still work on Ionic 1 codebase, expect to get some ‘hard-learned tips’ for working with the framework from day 1.

On a totally different note, I started looking into the Go language and am liking it so far. I hope that my journey will evolve so that I’ll be able to work with it even more on a professional level as well. Be it as it may, expect some posts on that subject when I gain some more knowledge about it.

Special thanks

I’ve read a few books that could be classified as ‘self-help/self-improvement’ books, and (surprisingly so?) I’ve read a lot of the software development books. However, it was not until I read John Sonmez book Soft Skills (you can read my review here) that I started taking all this a bit more seriously and started reading way more about all of this.

I still remember when I emailed him asking if Ionic framework was a good technology to niche down. Now, a year and a half later, being in the top #3 answerer in Ionic framework tag on Stackoverflow I can only say – thank you.

In case you’re into improving as a software developer and getting to the next level of your personal development, be sure to check his Youtube channel. Who knows, you may just find something valuable for you.

Some of you may also be familiar with Elliott Hulse, and if so, you’ll enjoy their interview.

Conclusion

My intention was not to make this into a motivational speech. Though, if it helped kick you out of your comfort zone and into the producer mentality, that’s great. However, don’t forget:

Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work.

So, wish you a happy, healthy, fulfilling and productive 2017!!

Written by Nikola Brežnjak