Why I want to write

29 Mar 2014

The “Hello, World!” post of a new blog is a difficult one to get right, hopefully I bypassed that one last week with my first post.

Before I start in earnest though I thought I should explain why I want to write. It’ll be interesting to, after a few months, write a follow up to this and see what I have actually got from writing.

A better way to learn

Cunningham’s law says the best way to get the right answer isn’t to ask the question but to propose the wrong answer. Then some smart aleck will come along and, incensed at your wrongness, give you the correct answer.

So it stands to reason that whatever I write about, even if I’m not completely right about something, by Cunningham’s Law, the kind people of the internet will correct me, and I will have learned.

Make things open, it makes them better

My time working with GDS on the Register to Vote project has convinced me of the benefits of Design Principle 10.

I have ran into many problems that have been solved by reading the source code or writing fixes to a project (Play Framework for all of it’s positives is the bane of my life) Issues I could never have solved without those projects being open source.

So writing is like open sourcing your thoughts. By allowing others to read them, build on them, improve them, and rework them it allows them to be better.

This is a big reason why I’m using the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license and also why I’m hosting this blog on github.

Rubber duck my thoughts

Rubber ducking is explaining your problem to yourself, and in the process straightening out your thoughts, until the solution comes to light.

By writing down my thoughts for a reader I can sort them out much better than if I’d just kept them locked up in my head. Which should make me better at articulating my ideas in the future.

I could help someone

I have this thought that if I’ve figured something out, then obviously others could too. Meaning I often look back on things I learn think they are insignificant, so surely writing about it is condescending to my reader.

This is the main reason I haven’t started writing until now, as I felt I didn’t have anything worthwhile to contribute.

Double decker couch

I’ve taken to starting a new document in my notes-of-choice-app, currently Google Drive, each time someone says “Oh, thats interesting. How did you do that?”. Then every now and then I pop in to the folder and write a few thoughts on each.

Building that folder of evidence is how I’ve gotten out of this rut. Now I have a fair number of topics that others have told me are interesting.

So it’s time to write.