I’ve managed to make writing fun again and have been publishing a lot on my blog lately.
It’s due to three reasons:
1 – Having explicit content categories creates the freedom to post things that aren’t highly effort intensive deep dives.
By introducing explicit post categories (i.e. Micropost, Lab Notes, Essay, Deep Dive, etc) I feel much more free to post without the expectation that every post needs to be a time consuming, deeply researched technical post (which are the kind of posts that are popular).
I don’t have time for those lately, but that doesn’t mean I can’t write or post anything! Explicitly tagging something as a micropost or lab notes takes a lot of the pressure off, and makes me much more willing to write and publish.
2 – I stopped sharing on Twitter.
The curse of growing an audience is that posting to that audience has increasing weight as the audience grows, which creates stress and friction about posting. What if I post something that people don’t like and I lose a bunch of followers? What if I’m straight up wrong? What if I want to share something but don’t have time to fully polish it and people judge me? What if I post too often?
It’s also distracting to share on Twitter, and very difficult to not monitor notifications afterwards.
Furthermore, writing on Twitter was actually difficult in that it took extra energy to abide by the character limits, or fit things into threads otherwise. Writing freeform of my own blog is easier in this regard.
Not posting on Twitter removes a nontrivial amount of friction and stress that used to prevent me from sharing.
3 – Using WordPress (i.e. not a static site generator) removes a ton of friction.
The fact that I can click buttons in a web interface, write and post as easily as sending a tweet makes all the difference.
It’s so nice being able to change the website without coding. For instance, I just added a “Popular posts” feature in the sidebar in the last 5 minutes. Turns out Jetpack already has the feature included and I just had to enable it. I don’t even want to imagine what it would have taken to implement that by hand or with a static site generator.
Though not as fast a static site, the blog loads fast enough and I’m more than happy to take the performance hit.
It’s also awesome that I can quickly edit posts to fix typos, even from my phone with the WordPress app. I do this very often.
(bonus reason: It’s also due to the realization that posts don’t have to be long, can be written in one sitting, and don’t have to be absolutely perfect!)