Why do I write?
6 min read
After my first month of writing in my blog, this seems an adequate question. Why do I write? But also, why now? and what's the benefit I get from it? I started to ask myself these and other related questions about writing. This post is the result of that monologue.
I write to myself
I'd love to have tons of people reading my blog and liking my content. The only social media I'm actively using right now is Twitter. I only use it to get in touch with the community of developers and computer scientists out there. I only tweet about those topics and it'd be amazing to have a lot of followers to debate with. Yes, having a strong online presence is amazing, but you already knew that. The thing is, I don't write for you, nor anyone but me. I really appreciate you writing a comment on any of my posts, and liking them, and following me on Twitter too. Furthermore, I'm very interested in your opinion and feedback and want everyone can enjoy what I'm writing. But I write to myself.
Writing to myself means I'm not going to write about something I'm not interested in. I know that I could write something about a more popular subject and maybe that way I could get more followers and reactions. That's not my goal, at least right now. I really love to write, it's an amazing learning exercise, I could be helping others which is an amazing feeling, and I'm storing my thoughts for my future self at the same time, which could be an amazing advantage for him. But if I begin to take care of what is popular and what isn't, I'd be losing all the fun.
I try to write about different things, but always being consistent with why I think is interesting. Notice that doesn't imply that I just write about topics inside my comfort zone, it just means I won't write about what I think is not interesting.
But why did I begin to write now?
I must recognize the main reason was the pandemic situation. I love to share my knowledge and to discuss with other people about Computer Science, Tech, and Software Engineering. Entering a classroom and spending 90 minutes teaching is almost a therapeutical exercise for me. With the pandemic shut down, I got far from the University and the classrooms. In the first months, I was finishing my thesis and doing some work. But eventually, I started feeling nostalgic about my routine. So I began to use Twitter actively (I made my account in 2018 or 2019 but I rarely used it) and started to have great debates with people from the community. I must say the Twitter community of devs and computer scientists is amazing!
But I wanted to post differently. I admire people that can make those great, visually attractive, and interesting threads. I try it sometimes, it takes a lot of effort, at least to me. Is easier for me to write an article without taking care of the number of characters.
I just wanted to care about writing. Even my blog is the most minimalistic Hashnode blog you can do. Sometimes I feel curious about what would happen if I add a picture or some styles. It would be interesting if that really increase the impact of my posts, but I'm lazy enough to don't do it.
So it's all about the content. But what I have written so far?
The topics I have written about so far
My first article was a motivational one. It was about the necessity of testing and the right way to do it. I also wrote about testing here but making emphasis on some Design Patterns I have used to build testing frameworks.
I wrote about algorithms and problem-solving strategies here and here. Those are two of my favorite topics.
I don't call myself a developer but I have been earning some money by making software for a while. For those who are starting their developer journey, maybe you can encounter some entertainment and advice in this article.
I have written about how to make amazing slides and my thoughts on [competitive programming] (jj.hashnode.dev/try-competitive-programming..).
My last article was really special. While I was writing it, I was telling myself: "nobody will ever care about this!". But as I said, I find it interesting and I really wanted to write about it. So, that's pretty enough.
Then I decided to check whether people will really like it or not. I said the Discord server I was thinking of writing more about the topic (which is true). Then, I asked people to read and tell me whether the article seems interesting to them (this is almost a trick because I'm going to write the articles anyway). The result was nice. The post received a lot of reactions (compared with the previous posts, more than 20 reactions are a lot for me) and some acceptance on social media. You can read it here.
I have been writing at a rate of two articles per week. Yes, I found interesting the 2 articles per week challenge and I accomplished it, but I think I missed something because I haven't earned my badge yet. It's not important anyway, I just wanted to achieve consistency.
So, what's next?
I think to write more about Lisp. Not about the language but the paradigm it promotes.
I have been thinking of writing about Probabilities and Statistics. Those are the subjects I teach. There are a lot of awesome things to talk about but I need to sort them out. It would be nice to include some Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as well. I have prepared some exercises and projects for the students, but I need to think a little bit to make articles about this great topic.
I really want to write more about theoretical topics like computability, algorithmic complexity, optimization, etc. Although I write for myself, I really want to make my content attractive to a lot of people. That's difficult to achieve when talking about those topics. I'd love to write about my research too, but I need to be cautious about future problems when trying to publish in scientific journals.
And we always need to make room for future, unforeseen experiences and inspirational thoughts!
What have I got from writing so far? Well, I have learned a lot about what I have written and about myself. I have received feedback from very talented people and we've had great debates about the articles. I have also improved my English!
More than 1K people have read at least one paragraph of my content in this first month. That's mind-blowing for me. Really! I wonder whether it would be 2K if I add pictures and styles (bad joke). Is really nice to think I might help at least one fraction of those people.
And all that while staying consistent with my idea of what an interesting topic is! Great experience.
As I always say, leave your comment and/or reaction, I'd be glad to receive it. You also can follow me on Twitter, the link is at the top of the page. Stay tuned if you liked this one! I plan to post periodically.
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