This is a post about my goals for blogging, commentating on Alex K Chen's "What many have called my most important post," and my writing process for publishing every day.
Think about my goals for blogging and if there are other ways of accomplishing those goals
My friend helped me think through my goals for blogging. They are to:
- show an accurate representation of me
- express my thoughts, feelings, and things I learned
- create something that helps people feel understood, think about interesting things, and apply those ideas to the world
- have a body of work to show to bloggers so we can be friends
- connect with likeminded people to be friends
- network and have more opportunities
- earn the love, trust, support & goodwill of smarter people
Other things I could do are to:
- move to a place where I can talk to lots of people
- optimize my life for a good blog
- continue finding a job since that probably supports mental health
I feel like I have a stereotypical bay area tech entreprenuer personality who reads and desires the same things. So to experiment and branch out my identity, I could:
- find and talk to superconnectors
- get involved in different social circles
- do 100 new or uncomfortable things
Build up a body of work so people can find you
Alex says that if you articulate your mission and provide indispensible value, people will find you and help you at great lengths. You can do this by writing things that will provide lasting value. He also emphasizes how your time can be so extremely valuable that it doesn't make sense to worry about little things or fool around on the internet.
I want to do this: write super good things, connect with other people, and be so important to a mission that I don't have time to scroll instagram.
I think this is a similar thing with money. I should be ok with spending money on restaurants since my expenses are already really low, and convenient food helps me gain weight and have energy to blog.
Another thing Alex recommends is to be extremely stalkable by having one place for your things and linking to it.
I feel like my mission right now is to write a blog I'm proud of.
It would also be nice to understand what is going on with AI by doing independent research exercises and writing commentary on research papers, but my friend warned me that this gives off homework vibes and that I'm making myself learn something. My low conscientiousness has not had a pattern of helping with this type of work, and it may make more sense to do things that I'm drawn to and can learn more easily. This is shifting me toward finding an operations job with structure and feedback loops so I enjoy learning and doing operations.
Keep on expressing yourself and what interests you
Another friend pointed out that "how do I represent myself accurately" is a more interesting question than "what am I trying to get out of blogging," and this is probably better for me in the long run to enjoy writing and build up the consistency and taste to write better posts.
My writing process
Since I want to have a post to go online every morning at 11:11am and posts take time to develop, I have to develop multiple drafts at different stages simultaenously.
My writing process looks like:
- Notice ideas in the world and my experience that I could write about and writing that idea down in Apple Notes.
- When I notice points or examples that build upon that topic, I would jot down it down under my big idea.
- As the idea builds up in my notes app, I will transfer the main points and write a more structured version on Obsidian.
- Then I would transfer important structural parts from Obsidian to my Ghost editor and expand my points.
This is an iterative process and working on multiple drafts is like multithreading computing. The posts are at different stages and wait for me to built them up with ideas to be moved to the next stage. I am always doing Stage 1 and 2 in the background when I notice things and quickly jot down notes. Stage 3 and 4 are more deliberate sitting down and writing things.
I've been finding it helpful to structure my day to work on moving my posts to the next stage.
The morning would be a good time for me to dump all my ideas I had during the night and early morning into my notes, but I have been waking up too late to do that, so right now I am usually choosing which of my Obsidian notes can be turned into a post that day.
In the afternoon, I am usually reading and taking notes in Obsidian to write the blog post I'm gonna finish that day.
In the evening and night, I am expanding the points from Obsidan onto my Ghost editor. When I am finished early in the evening or late into the night, I would schedule it for 11:11am the next day. I feel like it makes me feel accomplished going to sleep and helps me maintain the momentum of generating new ideas.
If I have a long post like reflecting on 2022, that is gonna take multiple days of brainstorming and structuring on Obsidian before I'm ready to take additional days to expand those points.
I chose 11:11am as my scheduled publish time because it is late enough that I could go to sleep early and finish the post in the morning if I have to. Or if I go to sleep late finishing my post, it will be published when I wake up.
Gwern says writing in the morning is better. Recently I have been writing better past midnight, but I think that might be because my circadian rythmns are off. I've been sleeping late and waking up late, so I get sunlight later in the day. It's better to get sunlight before 10am to adjust your circadian rhythms.
Since I'm young, I have an advantage at learning technical things like math and programming, but I don't feel like I can actually do that right now. It doesn't draw me as much as writing does. I think it is still good to build up a body of written work since it is another way of getting leverage and opportunities to make friends that have compounding effects on that things I care about in the future.