Writing in 2013

January 2013

in Meta

(This post is pretty meta—more of a personal reflection than a useful idea.)

So here we are … No calendars bursting into flames. No end of the world. No apocalypse. Lots of disappointed end-of-the-world-ers. It seems 2013 is happening after all.

I’ve written before about doing a past-year review and next-year plan. I also released a short PDF guide that goes into a little more detail about how I do it.

A big part of my planning for this year was deciding what to do with this very blog.

Review of 2012

First off, some honesty here, every bloody year I set some awesome, super-duper plan to write about all sorts of amazing and useful things. But not much happens, largely because of:

  1. General perfectionism problems. I truly am my own worst critic. If it’s not amazing, it’s not to see the light of day. I have a really hard time with this.
  2. Too much planning, not enough writing. Oh lordy, my planning sins are too many to count! I have made huge strides in doing more doing, yet I still spend far too much time thinking and planning. End result: a whole lot’a nothing.
  3. Prioritizing learning over writing. I made the conscious decision in 2012 to focus more on learning than writing. I’m okay with this, I think it was a good plan, but now it’s time to shift from a 99/1 reading/writing split to a more 50/50 split.

There are other reasons too, but those are a few of the biggies. What’s a guy to do?

The Plan for 2013

  1. Write more, period. Just as I tracked my pomodoros publicly for the past few months, I’m going to track my number of words written. The goal, for starters? A mere 1,000 words per week. Historically, any other writing goals I’ve set were way too high, leading to stress, burnout, and unhappiness (with regards to my writing, not life, thankfully). Time to start smaller and work from there.
  2. Write more frequent, shorter posts that try to convey a single idea. This will reduce the amount of time needed to write a single post (shorter delays), provide more rapid feedback, provide more satisfaction from seeing posts go live (i.e. success spirals), and reduce the resistance that comes from trying to keep a 5,000 word post organized, on topic, etc.
  3. Turn my pages and pages of notes into posts. During my year review I realized just how much content I have scattered across hundreds of pages of notes and mind maps. Time to start sharing.
  4. Remind myself regularly why I want to be a better writer. I already put up a post-it note above my monitor with a bunch of my reasons.

You may have noticed that some of these are taken directly from the procrastination equation. That’s because it works.

So, you may be seeing a lot more content on alexvermeer.com than before, and possibly less organized than before. You’ve been warned. (Also, my perfectionism demon has been temporarily culled.)

In short: blah blah blah disclaimer disclaimer blah blah blah, I needed to write this to help get me over the various barriers preventing me from writing more and create a little public accountability. :-)