When I started this blog, I was focused on quantity over quality (as you may have been able to tell from some of the quality of the posts). I was inspired to make this my focus by Ali Abdaal, who argues that you will learn a lot more from publishing 50 bad posts than one perfect post. So at the beginning your focus should be volume.
I agree. When I started out, I didn’t really know what I wanted to write about. I am interested in science, history, medicine, university life, productivity, gardening, cooking, and books so though I could write interesting posts in those areas. But to truly know what I enjoyed writing about and what I am good at writing about I needed to first write. So, I have set out to write and publish 50 blogs. 50 blogs of questionable quality before completing any anayalsis. Only after 50 blogs will I look at traffic, engagement, length, quality, and, most importantly enjoyment.
Now we are about a quarter of the way through this experiment and so I wanted to share some of my thoughts and learnings thus far:
- Publishing 2 posts a day is a lot harder than I thought. Maybe this is obvious from a reader’s perspective but man it is hard. I had this ideal scenario of getting up bright and early and spending an hour in intense deep work writing. But that hasn’t happened. I mean seriously, it has been a struggle this last week just finding ideas for blog posts that are somewhat interesting and can be discussed in more than 200 words.
- The posts that I have had the most enjoyment writing also take the longest. My favourite posts thus far have been “Why you should make your own to-do list”, “why you actually do have time”, and “how to pick a major when you have no idea what to do”
- The area I really want to write about is science and medicine and the history of the respective fields. But have quickly learnt that those posts are going to take a lot of time to research and write. I have started reading the Hippocratic Corpus (a collection of writings from Greek doctor Hippocrates) and intended to explore them through blog posts. But thus far that section of the blog is empty. If I want to pursue science and medicine communication going forward I will need to rethink the purpose and model of this blog
- I write the best when I am not at my desk. When at my desk I write slow and get distracted. But, when I am writing on the train or bus (as this post is) I find I am efficient and focused. I think it is the thrill of the chase. Trying to finish this post before my stop. It is a race between me and the bus, who will win? Can I get this post finished before my stop? I’ll keep you updated (update: I did finish this post in time!)
- Notion, my note taking and writing app of choice, doesn’t work without wifi so most of my blogs are written on sticky notes. This is pretty annoying so will need to find a solution going forward.
I am going to keep writing until I hit 50 posts (34 posts left!) and then evaluate and reflect on the experience and decide where this blog goes in the future. For now, here are the decisions I think I will follow
- Scale back to one or two posts a week
- Focus on science communication and productivity rather than book reviews
- Write only whilst on the move
I have learnt a lot more about blogging and now have a clearer idea of what I want this website to look like by just writing. So, if you are struggling to start a project because you aren’t 100% clear on its path or direction, that is fine. Just start and the direction will come.