Sometimes, when I sit down to draw my five index cards of the day, I have a hard time delineating five interesting thoughts – things I want to remember or share. They often seem so inward-turned.
I was thinking about the shape of my blog, too. I feel like I’ve shifted from a lot of technical posts to a lot of reflective posts. Possibly less interesting for other people, but useful to me. It’s hard to tell. These are the kinds of posts I’ve been starting to find useful in other people’s blogs, anyway, so who knows? Maybe these things are interesting for other people too.
It’s wonderful to be able to flip back through my archive and see the patterns over time. Of the 2,800+ posts in my index as of April 2015, I’d classify around 170 as mostly reflective. (Totally quick classification, just eyeballing the titles and categories in my index.) Here’s the breakdown:
While writing a recent post, I searched my archives to trace the evolution of my understanding of uncertainty over several years. I can remember not having these snapshots of my inner world. When I reviewed ten years of blog posts in preparation for compiling Stories from My Twenties in 2013, I was surprised by how many technical and tip-related blog posts I skipped in favour of keeping the memories and the questions, and the sense of things missing from my memories. Maybe that’s why I wrote almost three times the number of reflective posts in 2014 as I did in the previous year. 2014 was also the year I switched the focus of my experiment from other-work to self-work, and that might have something to do with it too. I’m glad I have those thinking-out-loud, figuring-things-out posts now.
The end of April was around 33% of the way through the year, so I’m slightly ahead of last year’s reflective-post-density (expected: 20 posts, actual: 25). Comments are rare, but I’ve learned a lot from them.
I’m fascinated by the ten-year journals you can buy in bookstores. They give you ways of bumping into your old selves, noticing the differences. I like the way blogs give me a little bit more space to write, though. =) Here’s a slice of my life going through May 14:
- 2014: Visual book notes: Mastery: I was drawing a lot of book notes in addition to writing about Emacs. Around this time, I was worried about whether I was slacking off, but actually, things were pretty good.
- 2013: Learning update May 2013: Hmm, this is still a pretty good list.
- 2012: Sketchnotes: Jeremiah Owyang @ Third Tuesday Toronto (#3TYYZ) on the Social Business Hierarchy of Needs: I used to go to more events. Now I tend to prefer to learn from books or the Internet.
- 2011: Cattus Petasatus: Latin learning is on hold at the moment.
- 2010: Even more awesome LotusScript mail merge for Lotus Notes + Microsoft Excel: I still get comments about this, even though it’s been years since I last used Lotus Notes.
- 2009: Thinking about the next summer dress I’m going to make: Oh, sewing! Also, web development and presentations…
- 2008: It’s not just for you – it helps other people remember the steps, too!: Learning out loud
- 2007: Didn’t write anything on that day, but the next post was about a hastily-organized trip home.
- 2006: Didn’t write anything on that day, but the next post was about the Mesh conference. Hey, Jen Nolan’s name turned up! Neato.
- 2005: People with a passion…: Emacs development and community stuff. =) Still at it!
- 2004: A couple of snippets of flash fiction.
- 2003: Didn’t write anything on that day, but the next post was about being late for school.
I have shifted. I focus on different things. I like the direction I’m going in. I can imagine, years from now, getting very good at asking questions, describing and naming elusive concepts, and exploring the options. If it seems a little awkward now, that’s just the initial mediocrity I have to get through. Hmm…