This post marks the 52nd week of publishing at least once per week. I'd like to look back on what I've learned from these weeks.
Starting off positive! ...but I do want to acknowledge the reality. Especially for anyone reading this thinking of jumping into writing articles. No one will care. That is not a bad thing (how many articles do you like and comment on?). Everyone already has a pretty full slate of things to care about. And that is OK.
But a few may take an interest. That is fantastic! Most will not; do not be too down because of it; that is the natural way of the world.
In the attention economy of the 21st century, most attention has already been dominated (and priced out by the likes of Google and Facebook). There is precious little attention left for an individual writing articles. The only way to get much attention is to either already be popular or pay through the nose.
But any amount of sustained organic attention gained here, no matter how small, is literal platinum-plated unobtainium. No one can get that stuff. Congratulations on the mining expedition! It may be hard to sell (ethically); but is worth its weight in gold.
This one makes the last point bite so much harder! I care so much about so many of my posts that still sit there like this:
Writing can eat an hour the way a snake eats an egg. And the writing makes up just a small portion of the process. Often research needs to be done and then some sort of coding; making diagrams or finding pictures; documenting things; outlining how to present the information; and once it is written it will need to be proofread and corrections made. (And my best proofreading usually happens on a day different than when I wrote the article).
I have quite a few articles I would like to write, but simply can't because I don't have the time to write them while also doing the necessary research and work to build the thing I want to write about.
I almost missed this 52-week milestone! Every day can feel so long; and when I get a chance to look back I wonder where they all went. Start today; tomorrow will never come; yesterday has already gone; so start today as soon as the thought strikes your mind.
If your attention is like mine; it is already overspent. It has been overspent for a long, long time. If you want to start something new, that will mean not doing something else. That might be scrolling social media; that might be extra sleep; that might be nights with friends. I cannot tell you what to choose; you must make your own decisions. But please choose. Do not let the world choose for you.
I was especially reminded of this phenomenon with my post last week.
A particularly popular article (yes, that is one of my "particularly popular" ones) will have a "splash" effect onto other articles I have written as people newly acquainted to my work look through my past works they have missed.
I always love checking in to see the trail of a single person starting with the article I posted yesterday, working their way through more, then more, until they finally follow me (they've fallen for my trap!).
All that to say: I believe it is better to have 100 articles with 10 likes than 10 articles with 100. There's so much more space for new readers to get hooked on. So much less expectation on the next article. And more opportunity to write posts like this and link to all your other posts...
What was I saying? Write. Write a lot if you want a few of your words to do well. The best parts will make the mediocre parts look better.