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The secrets to writing so damned much

First of all, the grass isn’t necessarily that green on this side of the fence since I often write these essays when I’m procrastinating on other things. It’s a way for me to chill out and relax and be social, so I’m OK with it, or I’d have to make some big changes to my GTD routine. These last few months, I’ve already found myself overly SOFA-prone, nerd-snipeable, and driven by the latest and loudest instead of doing deep, deliberate work. I pretty much spend my days reading and blogging instead of hanging out with other people and doing real things.

Other things that help is that I never worry if an article is too long or too short, and I edit both before and after I post. I write a sloppy first draft and I fix it before the initial publication, but I’m also super willing to keep polishing old posts. Simon has a “don’t look back! onto the next!” policy for his blog while I have more of a wiki mindset. Although our policies are opposite, both have the same purpose: to help us get over the hesitancy to hit “publish”. And both seem to work well.

I also work on these in parallel. You might see me post, and then a second post two hours later and be like “whoa!”, but that second post might be months in the making. Sometimes. And sometimes not. I only rarely have actual written drafts in progress (right now I have about five), but stuff is churning in the back of my mind and then it’s easy to bang it out. I’m lucky to be a fast typist (Dvorak FTW!) and it’s also the case that the more I’ve written, the easier it has gotten.

I have good tools to help me with formatting, publishing, spamming an excerpt to Fedi, pushing the post to Antenna etc, all of that is automatic. I also have one for turning README files into blog posts so those are practically freebies. I don’t wanna have to fiddle with that stuff, I want it all sanded down. I see people proudly saying they write their HTML by hand and their Atom by hand and I’m like “you do you, son! I have Markdown.”

Most of the time when I’m writing, I’m writing to someone. I start explaining something on a forum or in an email, and sometimes I realize after a few paragraphs that this would make a better blog post, and shift gears. Other times I don’t realize until I’ve written it and then I’ll just paste it in here, sometimes combining a few posts there into one here. (I’m sure you can tell that the quality suffers. 🤷🏻‍♀️) I used to have a deliberate policy that stuff I wrote on S-G, BGG, WRNU, Reddit, blog comments would stay there and not be duplicated on here. I would think to myself “heh heh heh, if someone accidentally stumble over everything I write all over the net they’d think I was prolific AF”. But since a few years back, I’ve done a 180˚ on that and as you can see I’ve gone from a few posts per years in here to a few posts per day.

All this duplication is bad for SEO but I never care about that. I never use analytics or log analysis, I just try to make the page as I would want it.