I’ve signed up with micro.blog in an attempt to post to the blog more frequently than I have been. The last post I had on my existing blog was in March, and it felt to me like it was starting to become a bit negelected. I think the main reason for the delay is that I feel the need to publish long form articles, which involves a lot of work to write, review, etc. I will try to continue to do that, but I also want to start posting shorter articles more often.
Interesting story: I had this idea for a while, since the start of June. Back then my blog was a simple Hugo site managed in Git, and hosted within Google Cloud’s object store. I had a few posts there — these have been migrated to this site — and I also had a few ideas for posts in the pipeline. I knew I wanted to write more often, but I was starting to get the sense of “overhead” involved in creating new posts. Writing doesn’t come naturally to me, and I think one of the barriers of posting was the amount of non-writing involved in doing so, things like checking out the latest copy, writing it, pushing the branch holding the draft, reviewing the PR (not that there was much to review), merging it, checking out master and runing “make” to generate and deploy it. Each step is not hard in itself, I do it many times a day at work. But it’s just more overhead making the actual act of posting just a little bit harder, and I was begining to realise that if I wanted to write more often, I needed a way to do so effortlessly.
So I committed the second cardinal sin of programming and spent a few weeks making my own CMS (I was also close to committing the first cardinal sin of programming — making my own text editer — much earlier in my programming life, but luckly lost intrested after starting). The aim was to setup a service and workflow that would make it easier to post smaller articles, more often, and from any machine that I was currently on. I also got swepted away with hearing others discuss the techonologies of their own blogging engines, plus their approach to “owning the entire stack” as it was. Plus, I cannot resist starting a new project, epecially now when it’s difficult doing things outside or with other people around.
However, as I got closer to “launch”, I was beginning to consider the amount of work involved in maintaining it and extending it to suppot things I want further down the line, things like extra pages, etc. This is a classic problem of mine. I get a sense of enthusiasm as I see the core features come togeather… and then I think about what work I need to do to support afterwards, and I completely loose interest. The project then begins to deterorate as additional hacks are added to support these things, and it just becomes less maintainable and fun to work on over time.
It also serves as a great distraction: what better way to avoid writing, than to work on an application that would reduce the barriers that inhibit me to write.
So, I’m doing the smart thing: I’ve stopped working on it and have moved to micro.blog. Being a subscriber to Martin Reece’s feed, I see the amount of effort and care he puts into this platform, something that I don’t see myself doing for my own CMS. I can only hope this would result in me publishing posts more frequently, we’ll see. But now I have no more excuses to actually write.