Why Start a Blog

Why indeed

I’m familiar with some common reasons for maintaining a blog or personal website. Some seem selfish, some altruistic. Some of them seem relatable, to an extent.

  • Catalog and share lessons you’ve learned.
  • Share work that’s difficult to capture in a resume.
  • Influence people and rake in ad revenue… ok maybe not.

Now, I’m not suggesting it’s impossible to build a blog for selfless reasons. I’m just not going to kid myself or anyone that might stumble accross this. Building and writing on a personal website is inherently self-focused, so I figure I should at least reflect on and share my reasons.

It’s a time capsule

It feels a bit like an accountability partner, like one might seek when setting learning or fitness goals.

I’d like to be able to scroll back to a post or project 2 years from now, and reflect on the delta. Sharing your goals, progress achieved, or reasons for abandoning them out in the open can be terrifying. But sometimes that terror can bring clarity.

In that spirit, when I re-rolled this blog, I realized my previous attempt had a single post from 2015 … about how to host a blog using GitHub pages. It was quaint, eye-rollingly meta, and self entertaining. That’s fine. But that’s also where it ended.

It’s liberating

I don’t need to circle back and check how many likes or reactions a post has garnered. I don’t need to stress about how The Algorithm will treat my post in my friends’ feeds.

I have something for which I want to organize my thoughts, or progress on a project I’d like to record, so I write about it. Done.

It’s necessary

I’m not in a region that’s … known for its competitive tech job market. Heck, even major aerospace engineering opportunities have been exported over the last decade or so.

So I figure that for the sake of my current or future employment, I need to show extra effort. If I’m going to strive or claim adaptability or resilience, I’ll need to prove it.

It’s the Internet

I’m pretty sure there’s some “middle aged suburbanite in tech” Bingo card I just helped someone fill. Happy to oblige!

It’s for me

As someone who strives to be who they are in public just as they’d be in private, all the better if I write it here.

As someone who receives gentle feedback on occasion that sometimes my emails are very … thorough, I look forward to sharing in a place where “thorough” or “longform” is less surprising.

It’s long overdue

For better or worse, my … situation (way before COVID-19) had sent me on a mission to check off or remove ooooold things from my backburner. In the same stride I also took a hard look at what I spent my time on. Were they important? If so, is it also something I need to keep doing? Could someone else do a better job?

I’ve returned to some constructive hobbies that I’m lucky enough to share with my kids. I’ve admitted I was spread too thin, so I let my volunteers step up and own the gamejam I started years ago. I finished a long-abandoned project I used to learn new tech. It’s not that great. But I finished it, so now I can reflect on its rough edges with fresh eyes.

I’d hate to invoke Murphy’s Law by promising this time will be different than 2015, so I won’t. But I need to start somewhere, even if it’s just to tee myself up for an extra-meta post in 2025.