I decided to “revive” my blog under a new domain but I found myself procrastinating on writing for hours. I’m ashamed to admit how much time I wasted in the last few days so I asked myself: maybe writing doesn’t bring me joy anymore, maybe it’s not worth my time?
I decided I should lay out my reasons why I want to write and why I think it’s beneficial. Since there are already excellent articles out there on the importance of writing, I focused on how it relates to my personal values and goals.
Learning to communicate well
Writing is an excellent way to improve communication skills. How? Writing forces you to articulate your thoughts clearly and concisely, formulate your ideas clearly, lay down your reasoning, and spot any issues with your logic. This is especially important in the context of technical decisions, as it is very easy to just skip over the details and miss potential problems.
Writing will force you to identify issues before you present your idea to others and ensures that you really understand all the concepts. As Gregory Gundersen puts it:
A side effect of having written detailed technical notes is that I calibrate my confidence on a topic. If I now understand something, I am sure of it and can explain myself clearly. If I don’t understand something, I have a sense of why it is difficult to understand or what prerequisite knowledge I am missing.
Creating a persistent record
A blog is a convenient place to put all of your content and notes in one place. If you build a habit of writing and publishing what you create, over time you will construct a “knowledge bank” of your thoughts and solutions to all those tricky problems you faced over the years and cannot quite remember how you solved.
You can revisit your own articles, which synthesise your ideas and the information you found elsewhere through your thorough research. If you don’t write down what you learned, the effort you put into the research is “wasted” as the details will inevitably slip your memory.
To be clear, publishing is not necessary. Keeping your notes private (e.g. in Notion or Evernote) will give you the same benefits as long as you can quickly search your notes. But there are some advantages of clicking that ‘Publish’ button…
You can show off
If you consistently put in the work, your blog might become something you are proud of and want to show to others. It can act as a proof that you are self-motivated, and demonstrate your work ethic and interest in technology.
Last but not least, it’s thrilling to watch the number of visitors increase as you publish more content. This blog has only a few dozens of visitors each month but it’s very motivating to see people stumble across my content and spend a not-inconsiderable amount of time on the page (reading? 😉).
So - should you start a blog? Writing can be very beneficial and having a personal website is absolutely worth it. Writing regularly can improve your communication skills and help you consider your ideas more thoroughly. In fact, I wrote this post because I was struggling with procrastination and it helped me regain motivation and remember the reasons why I want to blog in the first place. This text was written for my own benefit and initially I didn’t even intend to ever share it with others. I decided to publish it anyway because perhaps this post will be helpful to someone, someday, maybe.