What to write about
I was really struggling to find a topic for this week's blog. So much so that I started wondering why I was finding this so hard.
I don't want to just rehash content I stumble upon and find interesting, but I also think there is very little that I am truly qualified to write about! Is this true? Or is it imposter syndrome? I don't know.
However, this is my blog, so I guess I can do what I want.
My goal initially is to write a new post weekly to become more comfortable with writing. However, this has the side effect that I should have realised earlier, that there are no guardrails or defined categories to plumb when the well of inspiration seems to have run dry.
So my next task I am setting myself is to go through the list of partial ideas and half scrawled notes and see if there is anything coherent to be found, and try and form a process where I am corraling my thoughts into a readable form in advance. Well, at least for as long as the self-imposed weekly posting schedule is maintained. I don't feel like a good writer yet? I feel pretty far from that, so I guess I have many more weeks ahead. I still don't feel particularly comfortable writing, which is my north star metric. At the end of the day, most other metrics are not measures of what I want out of this blog.
A conclusion that I've come to is that part of my discomfort in writing, as well as my struggle to find topics, is that my taste-skill gap is large. I think I first became aware of the taste skill when I saw it mentioned on Twitter, and it has resonated ever since. Wentin's article The Taste Skill Gap is a great read if you're new to the concept, and doubly so if you're in tech.
As Ira Glass said:
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners; I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal, and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
So expect to see more posts, as I fight my way through!
Of course, maybe there is a technical solution for this? I've seen the subreddit r/WritingPrompts; maybe there is a similar subreddit or forum for blog posts?
I've found Bianca Bass's post on writing prompts, which looks like it has some gems in there.
If you have any suggestions for things to write about, let me know! I can't promise I will write about them, but I can promise I will consider your tips.
Photo by Valentin B. Kremer on Unsplash.