I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions”. I don’t set any resolutions on the 1st of January partly because I like to treat all days equally. The reason behind this is, I feel restrained when I have to celebrate something on a day set by God knows who.
It’s January 2021 now, and I choose to write more this year. I’ve noticed I consume a lot of information but do very little with it. If reading books were like alcohol consumption, I’d be in rehab.
I’ve thought carefully about how much information I gobble up, and I think I’ve had enough of reading. I don’t want to be a Tsundoku master. I want to write.
I am self-diagnosed with infobesity. I read about tech stacks all over the place. At one point I’m learning about gRPC; at another, I’m learning web performance or fitness or astrophysics. It’s a mess in my head.
This year, I want to make an active effort to write more. Writing is a skill I want to get good at, and there’s no other place to get my thoughts on “paper” other than my blog. I admire Seth Godin. He writes every single day! It’s inspiring, but I won’t be writing every single day though.
While I won’t be writing like Seth, I’ve set a “realistic” goal of writing a blog post every week; this should get me to 52 blog posts at the end of the year. I am setting a bar to reach. My posts won’t be systematic. In some months I may write zero posts, in other months, I’ll write eight posts. But, I’d like to reach the 52 blogs posts at the end of the year.
I don’t see any sense in consuming a lot of content and not using the new knowledge. I’ve decided that if at least I won’t be building anything, I’ll be offloading the information in the form of writing, sharing what I’ve learned. Or polish my writing. This way, at least someone may find it useful.
A Remedy for Information Overload
At the start of this month (not a New Year’s Resolution, just a happenstance), I started a new habit of tracking things I learn. It’s interesting how some of us learn new things every day and never follow them (speaking for myself).
I think one way to keep track of the what we learn is to write them down in some form.
To combat information anxiety, I’ve made yet another decision to blog every new thing I learn at the end of each month. I’ll mindfully note down new items I pick up that I find interesting. If I had a way to reflect and put into writing novel information, I’d remember more of what I learn. Readers will learn from what I share too.
I don’t know what to call this type of blog posts yet. It’ll be a collection of TILs at the end of each month, so maybe I can call them “MonTILs”? MonTIL #1 or something like that or even TMILs which I just made up. It stands for “This Month I Learned”.
Fifty-two blog posts for the whole year don’t seem like a lot, but you realise it’s harder than it looks when you set up to write. First, you have to think up good topics to write about, research your facts, plan the writing, edit grammar etc. It takes time, but it’s a goal I want to accomplish – I want to get better at technical writing then write a book some day.
I’ve set a lot of “private” goals that amounted to nothing. This time, I’m experimenting with going public with my small plans. Maybe if I have eyeballs watching, I can get things done. You’ll hold me accountable by observing.
I’ll collect things I learn each day and write about them at the end of the month and share with you.
I consider this a journey. If you have tips, ideas or advice, please shoot them my way via the comments.
So, here’s to a no-excuses, no-bullshitting start to 52 blog posts in 2021!