Shipping beats perfection
Top 10 reasons not to write and why should you write anyways
First of all, there is an elaborate post on this by Ben Kamens if you really want to know more on that phrase and what it means to software development.
For quite sometime I’ve been trying to create my own blog. I wanted to share what I learned. I was forgetting things faster than the rate at which I learned them (I am a web developer, enough said). I wanted to keep writing so that I can retain them longer and also help someone on the way (which could be the future-me trying to solve the same problem).
But there were quite a few reasons that kept coming to the surface; I didn’t realize I was rationalizing my procrastination for a very long time.
Here are some of my fears and how I convinced myself to start writing. You might identify if you have ever thought about writing in the open internet.
1. This may already be out there
When you search through several sites to accomplish task, realize there isn’t a single place where all that is assimilated. There is a high chance that your post, if it lays down all that you have learned in an order that’ll help people looking to accomplish something similar, will be signaled out of the noise by the readers.
2. There may be better solutions
Someone will tell you, most people are friendly and you stand corrected. Yet again, you benefit the most.
3. No one will ever read it
That is not an excuse. It’s all the more reason to start writing more, someone will read it! If you really want, you can put it out on Medium.com and notify your whole network through all your social networking sites such as twitter.
4. Someone will read it
That’s more like it. And, that’s your fear kicking in. You are already afraid of what others will think of it. You fear being vulnerable in front of a huge crowd.
5. It might be too bad
Internet is good at sending noise down to the bottom. If your post isn’t good enough, it doesn’t get noticed, your ego has nothing to fear! Think of all those SEO consultants trying hard to get content to the surface. It’s not easy to get something bad go viral, unless of course it is an actual virus unchecked.
6. It might be too good
This is where it gets viral if you post it in front of an audience such as Medium.com. You might have to work hard to make it happen if you post it on your personal blog, which could be a disconnected island when you are just starting off.
7. Readers may start to expect more high quality content
Now you are ahead of yourself! But isn’t that a nice problem to have on hand? Wouldn’t it be sweet that people are looking forward to your next?
8. I might regret it
Depending on when, you have several options. If it is right after publishing, you can delete it. If it is after 10 years, just accept the fact that it was a younger you who wrote it and you are wiser now.
9. I am not an expert
Not many are. Not on all things that you know of. After certain level of learning and experience, you’ll be in a position to help someone who’s just starting on the same path you were months ago.
10. I may run out of things to say, like this one!
If you keep learning, you’ll always have things to say. There is no harm in running out of things to say, either. But you’ll figure out why people come to your site, that is, if at all anyone pays a visit!
To sum it up, fear of being vulnerable is what was stopping me sharing things out in the open world.
Parker from Interview Cake used a phrase (rather a variable) $seemingly_productive_procrastination which strikes as the best way to put it. No one ever procrastinates saying I want to put it off as it is hard/difficult/I don’t know..etc. Most of the time it goes like I want to do the other thing which is urgent.
While all this was going on, I kept learning new things and didn’t write anything. Several ideas that I thought are good were slipping by since I didn’t have a platform ready for me to start writing.
So here I am, making it my first post, giving it a realistic goal,
- Today is 1st August 2017, I’ll post this live in 7 days on 8th August.
- I’ll add enough functionality in the meantime to ensure this post is readable.
I actually posted it on 9th Aug! Have you had anything similar? You can reach me on this post’s github issue for a conversation. Or try twitter handle @pineboat for this publication.