Blogging progress: It’s Difficult

by phoxis

I always wanted to have my own website where I will write some technical stuffs. I also wanted to start one to overcome my difficulties expressing thoughts by writing. When I first started the blog back in November 4 2008, my main objective was to try to post some well written topic related to computer science and other technical stuffs. It took a huge amount of brainstorming and sleepless nights before I could design an acceptable set of categories, subcategories and tag. I didn’t fix any frequency at that time. As time went through I felt that the blog was not very active and very few posts are being posted per month, and even sometimes no posts in several months too. Therefore I tried to make a frequency of posting. This idea failed. The main problem was to click the “Publish” button. I uncontrollably tend to over-perfect and over-simplify each article I write and sometimes after working on a writeup for weeks or even months, I decide not to post it because I think it was either not good enough, or it became over-complicated as a result of my attempt of oversimplification and over-perfection. Many drafts are lying in my disk at the final stage. Some because I could not defend some of the information I have in it with some authentic source, some because they have incomplete information, some because I could not demonstrate with some example, some of them because they need to cut short. There are some articles which at this moment I would require to read and understand first inorder to be able to further edit it because the topic was too specific and at this time I do not remember those details.

Generally I follow a certain path to write a technical article. First I start with a draft, which contains the outline of what I am going to write, possible table of contents, personal comments, and everything which is being streaming out from my mind. Next I start an alpha revision, where I finalize the table of contents and arrange the scattered information under each heading, and also markup what to include more, if a section would be better with subsection or else, what information is missing or incomplete, which statements require reference etc. After this level, I start working on the beta revision, here almost everything marked to be done in the alpha stage is done, spell checks, grammar checks, checking if a line has ambiguous meaning or not, removing unnecessary sections, adding necessary lines etc are done. After these are complete I work towards the final revision. This is just an extended version of the beta revision. Grammar checks, last moment edits, addition, removal, modification of lines. But there is one difference. I do not start revising the final version just after I completed the beta. I keep the beta revision in the disk and stop working on the topic. After some about 4 ~ 5 or more days (it depends) I open the article and try to read it like it was written by someone else (try to be as unbiased as possible), and try to find out problems and perform the last changes. Sometimes I make it read by some one else. After it is done, if it was for my blog I tag it up and post it, and if it was for the print media I send it to the editor.

If there are accompanying programming source code with the article then first I write and test in very detail. Once I sent an accompanying code to the magazine editor which crashed on incorrect input (although the stuff was working for correct input), it felt very bad as we shuttled emails on this topic for two days.

Sometimes I think that this effort is completely unnecessary, because at last what comes out is not that much valuable. I am not sure about it, I never got any feedback about the articles.

To reduce the unnecessary workload I started a new think-and-post plan for the blog. The plan is to create a new post, type in the stuffs, read once, read twice and post. Results were faster and still very good, but even simple posts took around 3 ~ 4 hours to compile.

Selecting a topic was always difficult. I try to avoid topics which are highly available in the Internet. I try to target the topics which I find really interesting, not much available in the Internet, or if available most are not well written, incorrect or incomplete. This makes thing a bit complicated but if a good work is done the outcome is generally very satisfying. I read some of my well worked posts and hug myself in my mind to appreciate the effort. There are some works too for which I curse myself, because I wasted a lot of time and ended in something over complicated and pointless.

Next to overcome the writing problem I thought to revise the think-and-post idea to just-do-it plan. In this just-do-it plan I just write whatever it is streaming in my mind in a structured manner, read once, and post. For that I started this blog with a general topic where I can write anything. Although most of the posts I succeeded to write at once, but some of the posts till now, including this one was in the draft state for quite a time before I finished it and posted.

This writing problem is not new. I am facing this from my childhood when writing answers in the examination. I could not express what I wanted to say, instead I went over and over on some point, and extended answer with unnecessary and repeated information, which resulted in a bad answer and more time spent on one question. However this is some other topic about which I may write later.

Writing is one of the medium with which one can express their thoughts and feelings. The better one can write the better one he/she can communicate through the writeup. Writing style is important. I may write a sentence, in the mother tongue or a foreign language, to reflect a feeling which means a lot to me, but on it will depend on the reader if he/she will pick my feelings wrapped in the letters. So writing, speaking, communicating is difficult. But as everyone, I will try to get my writing skills better.