Since this years re:publica 2014 conference I joined the Iron Blogger community here in Munich. Like many good decisions this was a spontaneous move motivated by a talk of a former co-worker given at the re:publica 2014 conference. His topic was about winning back the Internet by decentralizing the content – a core concept of the Internet – from centralized providers. By relying on third party products like facebook, tumblr, Twitter, and G+ we loose the autonomy of the content we publish.
While this is a genuine intend it was not the driving force behind my motivation to become an Iron Blogger. All it took to get me involved was a side note of him mentioning that he started to write more recently as he had joined the Iron Blogger movement. This caught my attention and I was curious to find out more as I long ago wanted to publish more post myself. It took me not more than a couple of minutes to decide that I wanted to try this. Here I would like to share my experience so far and the new set goal – In for a Perfect Game.
Since almost three month now I am publishing a blog post every week, not missing a single week so far. This time span arguably does not permit me to already be reflecting about the positive or negative influence this had on me, nor to be handing out smart advises of how to publish a blog post each week. Instead I would like to share here the goal I’ve set myself affected by the positive influence this 12 weeks had on me already.
My goal from now on is to play a perfect game for at least one year. This means that I’ll be publishing a post each week for the next 50 weeks in a row (vacation may be included). And here is how I plan to achieve this goal:
1. Put the Blog in Front
I write about technical topics that are mostly work related. It’s a way for me to digest topics I face during my work in a different and likely more profound way. Trying to explain something I do is different from just doing it – obviously. Also the blog has become my notebook I turn to when I am facing similar matters at a later point. In addition to all that it is a good way to sharpen my writing skills.
For me this means that writing is mostly the only extra effort that I am facing. Finding topics to write about come to me throughout a week of busy work. It is essentially different than running a blog about a hobby or a side project as I don’t need to make extra time for the hobby and then for writing about it. Interests in free time activities may also change.
2. Always Be Preparing
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
At the time of this writing I have published 17 posts compared to 31 drafts. Some of this drafts have as little input as just a link or might just have a title. Likely most of this drafts will never be published but they are my backup I incrementally can expend on.
In this drafts I collect links, sentences, and code snippets that I would like to publish at any point. It is important to have this not starting from blank each Sunday night right before deadline. The simplest of this backups is a link list post. They are really ease to create as we all have this kind of lists with links we want to read or links we find most useful. A few sentences about the topic and maybe about each link gives you the next post to publish.
3. Share Early, Fix Later
This felt a little bit like cheating the first time, but it is not. In fact it is an essential part of blogging regularly and being a Blogger.
By joining the Iron Blogger community I surely did not get more time throughout the week to publish more, but in fact I did publish more. The reason for this is that I became determined to finish a post each week. The first post I finished was a draft that was laying there 2/3 finished for almost a year. Running a blog is not about finishing your next master piece with each post, but preparing yourself to be able to write one.
This does not mean to publish half written post. It means to cut the post to point where it is enough to be published but does not yet contain all the aspects you intended. Add those at a later point or make them into a new post.
4. Write Everywhere
Instead of opening the facebook app every 5 minutes try to open your blog more often. Take a look a the access statistics and enjoy the fact that people read what you are writing. Try to understand the user patterns of the audience you turn to. By doing this more frequently than browsing facebook you automatically begin to think about the new post you could be writing. You suddenly will begin to start sketching drafts for your blog while waiting in line or commuting to work. Suddenly you’ll be begin to stay on top of you blog and ahead of schedule.
My season is going to end mid of May 2015. Will it be my perfect game?