Meta-blog about the blog

I’m going to go a little meta and discuss the aspects of this project behind the project itself.

Why would someone want to blog every day?

  • To educate those who don’t know what you do
  • To learn more about a topic you already know – regardless of what you think of your knowledge you will be doing LOTS of research and experimentation along the way.
  • To practice writing and communicating on technical topics. This isn’t easy, and I’ve been “writing” for a while.

What does it take?

  • Interest in the topic you’re writing about. A little (or lot!) knowledge helps too.
  • Discipline – nearly every day there’s some degree of “meh I do NOT want to do this, or at least there was for me. Once I reached the 3/4 mark though it switched to “meh I do NOT want to do this, but I’m so dang close to succeeding!”
  • Basic blog software. Like I said at the beginning of the month, my time was better spent writing content that taught than hacking on some blog I could then use. You’ll bikeshed the crap out of a blog you build yourself, don’t fall in this trap.

My advice

  • Take it small – I would up about 500 words (according to WordPress) a day by accident. Wasn’t a goal, but that’s about where things felt “done”
  • Work a little every day. I thought taking weekends off would give me a chance to pre-fill the buffer with entries and leave weeknights free – nope. I was too busy enjoying NOT writing and doing other things.
  • Pre-plan: I didn’t get to everything I put on my list, and things came up that I didn’t even think about. But when crunch time came to prep an entry for the next day, the list gave me a clear direction of a sequence that made sense and if all else failed gave me an idea I could run with on a short deadline. Ask people what they want to know about your topic. In my case I asked several experienced Django devs I know what they needed to know about GeoDjango, mixed in the stuff I thought they should know too and wrote them.
  • Don’t be afraid to cut into pieces, or walk through a “project”. There seem to be a lot of people showing up to read entries, but a lot of the time they’re coming a couple days after publication. And now the entries will be out “forever” so those that find it can continue at their convenience.
  • DO IT. You’ll learn a lot, you’ll practice even more, and you’ll help people who don’t know things just like others helped you when you didn’t know things.
  • Don’t shoot for more than a month.
  • Give yourself time off – weekends, Monday/Wednesday/Friday, anything.

It’s been fun, and this blog isn’t going anywhere – the topic sheet still has a bunch there. But I’ve got some life, and a mess of housework, to catch up on.

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