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What developers can write about

You should write for yourself first. That’s the answer that I keep coming back after talking to many different people about what they expect from their blogging. It seems that we mostly see articles that feel larger than life. The ones that implement a whole react app in a 5-series Medium post. We see that and think: that’s too much work.

Here’s an invitation to you to consider other types of writing that you can do. They all revolve around what you’ve learned:

  • A few good articles that I found while researching X
  • A nifty snippet and why I like it
  • Here’s a book I read and this one quote or paragraph really got me thinking
  • I wish I could learn X, Y, and Z and why I think this would be meaningful for my future
  • I don’t understand X despite knowing Y and Z
  • A few random things that surprised me today
  • Tools that I use and why
  • Something that I dislike about my tools, processes and a meta reflection about them

This process of writing is mostly about you. It provides space for you to reflect on how you go through life. Maybe it helps you detect friction points and lets you formulate better questions. You can then ask your peers and learn even more because you showed a willingness to explore.

Writing for yourself means that your writing is valuable even if no one else reads it. You can make your metric of success number of meaningful conversations based on your posts. 1 coffee or Zoom chat is worth more than 10k anonymous page views.

Now to rephrase above via a few more objections:

Objection: I don’t have anything to contribute to the Internet!

That’s the thing. You don’t have to be original. It’s for your own growth and processes, and it serves as a valuable seed to start a discussion with your peers. It also shows your progress on your journey.

Objection: I don’t have the time, and it’s hard!

Yes, it’s a practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more you can develop the skill, just like meditation and sports. Benefits outweigh the time investment.

Objection: What if people think I’m stupid?

That’s fine. People will probably just ignore you. If you get meaningful feedback about work, you can then improve your next project or writing.