There are a bunch of reasons why I started this blog. Primarily, it's for me.
I see blogging as daily exercise, kind of like running. Just as there's a myriad of benefits to having a regular practice of running, the same goes for having a daily practice of articulating an idea using words:
- It's good writing practice (which I could really use).
- It's a way to get ideas out of my head so I have "less to hold onto" in my brain, which helps reduce anxiety especially during a pandemic.
- It's a forcing function for me to reflect on what I've learned. Can I articulate my lessons with reasonably coherent sentences? In doing so, I often feel like I get to an even deeper level of understanding by the time that I'm done with a given post.
- Often, it's a way for me to work through what I really think about a given topic when I'm unsure.
From a process perspective, it also helps me practice the idea of "done is better than perfect". My morning routine is: make coffee, free write 500 words, write a blog post, and then get going with the rest of my day. There are days when I can knock out a post pretty quickly, and then there others where I don't quite finish the post until later in the afternoon. I'm aiming to do more of the former than the latter, but it's going to take practice.
Also, I don't think of these as essays, and so I don't spend much time editing them. Thus, I'm not really concerned about the content marketing value of them, and whether anything here goes viral. Which is why calling them "notes" feels much more specific than "blog posts". That said, I do hope the quality of the writing will get better over time.
Most importantly, there's a structural benefit from blogging.
One of the more challenging parts about working for yourself is that you don't really have anyone to report into. No boss, no board, no investors. That freedom is wonderful, but that structureless-ness can actually work against you (especially if that is how you've been calibrated over the years). It's really easy to get lost if you don't have guardrails, no matter how smart you think you may be.
And so, ultimately, that's the greatest purpose this blog serves. I have to report into it, and it forces me to think, review, reflect, and articulate, which in turn helps me to keep moving forward to wherever my work is going to take me. There is freedom in embracing constraints in the design of your work, and the same goes for designing how you work.