Tweet less. Blog more.

An uncomplicated game plan for writing this year.

January 02, 2018Filed under Blog#productivity#writingMarkdown source

The other day, I tweeted:1

Suggested 2018 resolution:

⚡️ Tweet less. Blog more. ⚡️

It’ll make all of our discourse better and richer.

In this post, I’m going to trace out how I plan to do that, in hopes that it’ll help others write (and finish!) more blog posts—short posts, long posts, and everything in between. In another post (probably tomorrow or Thursday), I’ll explain why I think this is so important.

The game plan:

  1. Tweet less. If you’re tempted to string together more than two or at most three tweets… you have a blog post. Seriously! At 280 characters, if you assume a word is roughly 5 characters on average, and toss in spaces and punctuation, you’ve got 40–45 words in a tweet. Three of those is 120–130 words. Five tweets is 200–225 words.

  2. Write down your ideas. I have a #writing/ideas tag in Bear, and new ideas I have just get thrown in there. When I have a day where I don’t have some other specific idea to tackle, I browse through that list and grab something that seems interesting. As an example: my “Chrome is Not the Standard” post had just been sitting in there for a couple months when I finally got around to writing it up a few weeks ago.

  3. Be okay with being brief. I’m a wordy guy, but I think many people feel the need to write much longer material now than they did in the early days of blogging, precisely because Twitter exists. It’s as if the existence of a microblogging platform makes us feel like a 200-word post doesn’t justify its own existence. I don’t believe that: I write short posts sometimes! And some of my favorite bloggers regularly do likewise.2

  4. Be okay taking a while to finish. Sometimes a piece can take a few weeks (or months!) to gel. That’s okay. Keep at it. Take some of your allocated writing time and keep plugging. That’s how I finally finished this book review.

  5. But finish things. That means: get them to a spot where you’re ready to post them (even if they’re not perfect [because they never are!]) or eventually just throw them away. Both are allowed.

  6. Block out some time for it! The main reason for my flurry of posts of late is that I started writing every day before 7am. And that’s a habit I’m keeping! It helps. Some days it’ll be New Rustacean scripts. Some days it’ll be technical writing. Some days it’ll be reflections on _Star Wars_. But blocking out the time means writing will happen.

  1. The irony, I know!

  2. This post itself is under five hundred words!