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Monday, May 5, 2008

How This Blog Came About

This may not be a useful topic to many. After all, why a blogger blogs isn't of so much interest except to himself. But after half a year into blogging, I think that this is now the time to sit back and do some reflection. Well, we conduct post-mortem after we complete a project, so I don't see why I shouldn't do the same for a blog.

I started out this blog, in year 2006. Initially I wanted it to be a Skeptic-kind of blog that allowed me to take a potshot at pseudoscience, logical fallacies that I came across and other things. After all, debunking pseudoscience and mocking fun at logical fallacies was what I loved to do because the act of debunking itself was challenging and rewarding. It was really thrilling to be able to tear pseudo arguments to pieces. I just loved it.

But things did not unfold in the way I initially planned. Since I didn't come across pseudoscience all the time, that was virtually nothing I could write about. And although occasionally I did stumble across poor-formulated arguments in the newspapers, but I just simply didn't feel like responding to them.

I found that the topics I wrote most were the topics that I dealt with everyday, namely programming and software engineering.

And so, a pseudo-science debunking blog turned into an IT blog, without even getting started.

Writing about IT stuffs was pretty easy. I had a lot of thoughts on programming. When you are years into doing something, of course you will have a lot of ideas about it. But to actually start writing was difficult, there was some moment of inertia you have to overcome if you want to start on something, be it exercise, gardening, part time coding or writing. There were a few times when I stared at my screen for a few moments and can't figure out what to write, not because I don't know what to write, but because I afraid that I couldn't deliver my ideas well. Eventually I drew out my blog plans, planned on what to write before I actually committed to writing.

But after the first few posts, I realized that my plans didn't work. It was very hard to follow a rigid plan, because it was just plain impossible to write on something that you have no inspiration or have no mood to write. Furthermore, the the need to follow plans simply made me uncomfortable. So after a few posting I dropped the plan and started writing according to my urge.

Writing blog posts takes discipline. Sometimes after a post you feel like writing another one, and another one, and another one. But the time simply won't permit you. Or after a short hiatus you may get lazy and don't want to pick up posting again. To overcome this, I impose a target for this blog. My target is no matter what, I need to write 10-13 posts per month. It doesn't really matter what I write, how long I write, how good or bad is my writing, the important thing is that I need to keep writing so that the momentum for posting can go on, so that this blog won't die by ice.

Jeff Atwood, in his post on how to achieve blog success, gave one single tip to for the wannabe Jeff Atwood or Joel Spolsky: Write regularly. I don't harbor the ambition to become them, but I am now enjoying myself and make myself a little bit of fame ( or notoriority) among other software developers. Not bad.


Anonymous said...

yeah.. love this !

master777 said...

I agree partially, still in order to understand and learn the subject you must see and study all the syntax and how they are used in examples i think. What is so wrong about it? if you don't know about the relative syntax how would you be able to write your codes? I agree on the given examples are inadequate. Nonetheless there are some(very few) good books out there and most of them are absolutely useless. Thanks