To blog or not to blog?

Sina Khalili

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut.

Stephen King, "On writing"

"When you begin to explore some area, you take baby steps at first, building intuition about that territory... you learn many properties that are true and many properties that are false. Eventually your brain will have learned how to take larger and larger steps. And shazam, you’ll be ready to take some giant steps and solve the big problem."

Donald Knuth, "On doing research"

That is, simply, the question. Certain blogs are very well written. Others, not so much. How should one decide whether something is worth blogging about?

Why should one blog?

Ideas are always in motion

The patron saint of programming blogs, Steve Yegge once said:

Even if nobody reads them, you should write them. It's become pretty clear to me that blogging is a source of both innovation and clarity. I have many of my best ideas and insights while blogging. Struggling to express things that you're thinking or feeling helps you understand them better.

With more tools at our disposal, are we any more productive? I think that depends if the tools offer us some fundamentally new mental model of looking at information. For example, I don't think Evernote or Google Keep are more productive. They are simply the note-taking concept.

But emacs' org-mode presents a new way to approach notes: from within your programming environmnet. Giving us access to things like babel.

Blogging as an inspiration basket

Often, when reading or learning, the accumulation of energy will be so much such that I cannot sit still. I must move. I must write or tell someone or walk around saying "Gee whiz!". This might be because I'm extremely prone to daydreaming, but also because ideas really are that powerful In fact, ideas are perhaps the most powerful creations of humankind . In this behaviour, at least I am not alone.

A picture full of a goof with his head in the skies. A picture of Sina

That is the main reason I'd like to create this blog. So that these complex ideas don't stay in this brain, because my brain has historically been a poor place for storage.

where are the logs lol

Creativity is very powerful

Sina picture Observe as I foolishly put this picture in the post yet again! It's easy to over-judge yourself. So I'm going to just be okay with putting garbage out there. Boggedy boogedy boogedy booooooooo. Alright, enough silly talk. Actually, just kidding, there's never enough silly talk. I silly talk all the time. I'm silly talking now. I'll silly talk tomorrow. In fact, rarely do I wake up and not silly talk.

You know, I think learning emacs is a great thing. You get so many shortcuts in other programs from it! Ever heard of Ctrl-n and it's friend Ctrl-p? Ever heard of Ctrl-a and Ctrl-e ? All emacs keys. Bless your stars for emacs keys.

It gives me more motivation to remake my website. I think there's a lot of new web design that I've learnt since that quick, long day where I just worked with GSAP over and over until my ambition decreased and my skill increased and I had garbage, distilled, barely working shadow of what I had started to make. And it was glorious.

I want to show you things

In blogs you can do some really nice things. Like showing people things with images.

emacs buffers

Or maybe in code snippets

(car '(1 2 3))
;; Look at that lisp!

I feel like I could mix some org-mode and babel magic, some of my own elisp, and use of other front-end libraries I could make a really nice blogging platform . Or I could at least give it a good go, before realizing the project is too ambitious, and settling on some vastly inferior thing. Ah, web development.

Although, is it bad that I do all my web-development in VSCode? I feel more "with the times" like that. Although maybe one day I'll blog about that...