80 posts later

. 2 min read

My goal is to write 120 new posts before the end of the year. This is post number 80.

Honestly, I wasn't sure if/how I would get to this milestone. I wanted to start a blog for a long time, and I spent much time procrastinating, looking for some productivity secret.

Ok everyone, I have discovered the secrets of consistent blog writing. Are you ready?

Set clear publication goals

Set very clear goals, and break them into yearly, monthly, and weekly milestones. Hold yourself accountable to these goals. How are you tracking?

Massively lower your expectations

Your first 80 posts will not be your finest work, and that’s okay. That’s the point.

The thought of someone judging my terrible posts made me hesitate. I found a solution. I installed Google Analytics, and now I have definitive proof that nobody is reading my blog. If someone says “I would love to read your blog, what is the URL?”, don’t fear - they probably won’t get around to reading your blog. I have the IP address logs to prove it.

The quality of your posts will improve over time. Soon, your ability will catch up to your taste. Lower your expectations in the meantime.

Coffee

If you enjoy coffee, perhaps you’ll find this useful. I bribe myself with coffee, preferably ultra hipster Sydney coffee. I sit down with a coffee (sometimes two), and I do not leave the hipster cafe until I have completed a shitty first draft.

Something about physically sitting in a different location, my favourite cafe’s hipster music, and the high dose of caffeine makes it easy to write.

This particular post was brought to you by a hand drip coffee in a Kyoto cafe.

What’s the point?

I am now writing the 80th blog post as part of the 120 challenge. Looking further ahead - after the challenge is over, why continue writing? What’s the point?

I think we already understand the need to practice written communication skills, but it’s hard to know if you have actually improved in any tangible way. So let me give you the tangible result - blogging is an excellent way to organise your thoughts. Your blog is a talk generation machine.

At the beginning of the year, I had no new conference talk ideas. Looking over my blog posts, I noticed that many were about public speaking. I quietly workshopped ideas with a number of software engineers, and received a very positive response. I combined the ideas of a number of blog posts, and presented them at the Sydney Ruby meetup. By the time the Python Australia CFP opened, I had a fully written talk ready to go.

I am very excited to announce that I will be speaking at Python Australia this year! If you’re in Sydney, please come and see my talk!

Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash.