26 Aug 2020

Smaller Posts

I’m going to try writing some smaller posts.

Each time I’ve tried to write something small recently, it’s become quite long. And then I spend a lot of effort making sure I hedge my points and sprinkle in caveats and counter-points.

This is fun. But I think that right now, I’d be happier if I wrote smaller things more frequently.1

Maybe if I try to write something that’s tiny, then by the time I’m done with it, it’ll be just small.

For now, these little notes will live alongside the longer essays. But I’ll split them apart some day.

Update 6/23/21: This was a good idea, but I din’t have the details ironed out enough for it to work. It turns out I needed more distinctions: a separation between finished, sharable idea-centric “artifacts” (we’ll call these posts) evolving idea-centric “notes” (these now live in the garage) and update-centric “blog posts” (this ended up being the first one). With all types mixed into one stream with no differentiation, the idea of “what is a post?” still defaulted to the highest quality bar: something that was worth explicitly sharing with others (like, posting a link to social media).

  1. Man, I really thought I could finish this one without a footnote. No such luck. OK, just a quick one. There’s an experience to writing. (I mean, of course there is.) Journal writing is like almost 100% the writing itself, which helps you develop your thoughts and understand them. Writing for others, at least for me, ends up being more like 50% or 75% editing. (Oh man, I don’t want to really think about it, but it might even be closer to 90% editing, or more.) There’s just so much I find myself doing when I know what I’m writing will go on the Internet. (And even despite all this, the essays I post aren’t as polished as I’d like!) All this editing and polishing makes the writing better, but it usually doesn’t do a whole lot for me. It doesn’t often develop the ideas further, it just presents them more clearly. It also slows the cadence of writing and posting waaaaay down. What I write in one day will take two or three weeks to post. This rhythm definitely makes sense for some types of writing (like… pro authors). And I’m not planning on going to the other end of the spectrum (full-on blog or, like, tweet archive) with this website. (At least yet.) But I think the right balance, for now, is somewhere in the middle. 

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