Topical -


I don't write often. When I do set out to write, I write stream-of-consciousness, existential things. These things are not (normally) worthy of posting.

"What's worthy of posting?", you might ask. I hardly know the answer, but let's start at the most basic and see what we can see.

Level 1: update posting

One key to writing more often is finding an excuse to write. The stream of my consciousness needs an aquifer. A common aquifer among bloggers is "whatever happened lately". The water springing thereof is "update posts", which is what sundries has been a couple of times. But update posting, also known as "extremely public diary-keeping", is lowest-common-denominator water. It certainly is output, but it's not fresh and is not for public consumption.

Update posts should be used sparingly as a means to clean the pipeline for better water.

Level 2: recently learned things

Another aquifer is that of "recently learned things", which is (I imagine) what most tech bloggers use to write their endless "how to do a thing in X framework" posts. This is a medium-quality aquifer. Output from tapping this source flows easily, but it's generally nothing novel. New ideas are rarely spawned here and deep interactions with concepts are hard to come by.

I've piped most of my "recently learned things" output to my Notes where it can be used as a tool for further learning.

Level Tolstoy: brilliant writing for highbrow people

The best, bluest, tastiest, most refreshing water is found in the mountains. These are the waters from which entire rivers are born. It takes work and time to reach mountain water. Mountain water doesn't come from aquifers, but from the sky. Melted snowpack makes these waters.

One day I hope to have the strength and skill to be a mountaineer. They make it look easy. But for now, I must become better at tapping fresh groundwater.

What to do

It feels awkward to enter a space and not know what to do with yourself. Most people lean against a wall and put their hands in their pockets. Recently, I began to challenge myself to put my hands down at my sides and stand up tall.

I will try to challenge myself to find topics worth writing something small about. A topic doesn't need to be transcendent or groundbreaking; it should be humble and hand-sized. That's how I will find excuses to write.