When I went back to school to get my degree in web design, during my final term in the Usability class we were required to write a certain number of weekly, usability-related blog posts. I really enjoyed this part of the class. It was at that time that I decided I really wanted to add a blog to my website, as opposed to using it strictly as a portfolio. It seemed like a lot of the designers and developers that I look up to had blog-based personal sites where they share information and ideas about the latest in the tech industry. In addition to really enjoying the writing part, it seemed like it could be something that would add a nice personal touch to my site. I really liked the idea of having a place where I would be able to share my thoughts but, even more than that, I really wanted a good way to process and share all of the new information that I was (and still am) continuously learning as I strive to become better at what I do.
I really love the web community. There are so many extremely smart and talented people [originally I was going to include a list here, but quickly realized that it would have easily spanned several, several pages in and of itself] who I have learned so much from because their willingness to freely share their knowledge. That really has inspired me to take the time to pay it forward and share the things I am learning along the way as well.
What took me so long to finally get the ball rolling (aside from my continuous design changes and nitpicks) was that, because there are so many brilliant and talented people out there in the industry sharing content already, I felt extremely under-qualified and not nearly knowledgeable enough to share anything that anyone really found to be worthwhile that wasn’t already out there. Not long ago I read a couple of articles from two people that I admire as professionals and got just the inspiration that I needed.
The first post was “Bye Bye Tech Tweets” by Elijah Manor. While I have no intentions of Twittering less, Elijah makes a great point in his article:
“Not only do I enjoy sharing the things that I learn, but by doing so I tend to learn the topic even better than I did in the first place.”
The next post was titled “Ideas of March” by Meagan Fisher. I found this article to be very inspiring because Meagan addresses many, if not all, of the things that have been holding me back from getting started. She confesses that she often feels unprepared and underskilled:
“I absolutely believe in the power of blogging, and I think we should all be doing more of it. I usually don’t feel like I’m prepared enough, skilled enough or awake enough to craft a blog post myself. But today I’m committing to writing anyway, and not just via one-liners about Spanx on Twitter.”
The thing I really liked about this post was the honesty, which made me realize that everyone, at times at least, experiences moments like these where we are held back by feelings of not quite stacking up. As long as we refuse to let these feelings hold us back and instead allow them to drive us to continuously advance ourselves in our craft, it can then become a positive thing. I think the key is realizing that, although there are so many brilliant and skilled individuals in our industry, no one individual really knows EVERYTHING (even though it may often seem that way). We are all learning and growing together as a community.
So, all that to say, after what seems like hundreds of years of procrastination, I have finally mustered up the motivation to get a blog going. I am not exactly sure what it will end up looking like down the road but I am not concerning myself with that now. My main objective is to share the things I learn hoping others in the community can learn from them as well. In addition, as I previously referenced from the post by Elijah manor, documenting my findings will certainly help me to better understand and clarify the things that I am learning and can also serve as points of future reference – as I have the memory of a goldfish. Lastly, I think this is going to be fun. I really do enjoy writing when I can get myself to sit down for a long enough time period to do it. So I am sure among the little tutorials and informational posts from my learnings there will be a few drawn-out posts (like this one) of my random thoughts, experiences and ideas. I hope you enjoy.