This post is part of Advent of Parens 2019, my attempt to publish one blog post a day during the 24 days of the advent.
Day 24, I made it! I did skip a day because I was sick and decided it was more important to rest up, but I’m pretty happy with how far I got.
Let’s see how the others fared who took on the challenge. John Stevenson at Practicalli got four posts out spread out across the advent period, similar to lighting an extra candle every sunday of the advent. Good job!
Bobby Towers mostly wrote about all the work he’s done on his Mario-inspired media creation platform called MECCA, making it to a respectable 6 day streak.
Erik Assum aka slipset managed a three day streak, and then wrote a few more posts, making it to day 8. Nice!
Alexander Oloo did admit on Twitter that the odds were small he would complete it. He did make it to day 9. I really appreciated his more beginner-friendly articles. Good job Alex, keep writing!
Never afraid of a challenge Bozhidar Batsov also picked up the torch, writing on his Metaredux blog, running a flawless 24 day streak. Respect! The posts are a mix of Clojure and Ruby, and all enjoyable.
What I really hoped to achieve with this challenge was to inspire at least a few people in the Clojure world to blog more. These independent voices are a vital part of a healthy community.
Some people asked if I wouldn’t run out of ideas, but honestly I still have a dozen topics left without even trying. What people don’t realize is that things don’t have to be revolutionary or ground breaking to make good posts. On the contrary, people try too hard to be thought leaders, on blogs, in conference talks, on Twitter. It gets really old!
Instead speak directly from your own experience, whatever that may be. It doesn’t have to be new or advanced, it just has to be genuine. You don’t need to wow, you just need to share. Every programming thing that anybody knows they once had to learn. This means every small thing you do is worth writing about, for the benefit of the next person.
And even more interesting then the technical details are the story, the context. Why did you do this? What were you working on? How did it turn out? My favorite blog posts and conference talks are basically this: “We had to solve this real-world problem under these constraints, we took this approach, and this worked out well (or not) for us”. My least favorite format is “Here’s an architecture/platform/methodology that is amazing and you should use it.”.
So write from your experience. Literally everything can be a topic, like a friend told me, it’s a state of mind. Start noticing the little things you do, the bits of code you find interesting, the things you figure out, the hacks and tricks you came up with or learned from someone else. Start keeping that list, and then every so often take some time, pick an item from the list, and write that blog post. Don’t dwell it on it and polish it to perfection. Just get it out and move on!
I want to thank everyone who blogged about Clojure this year. You all rock! And I want to thank everyone who will blog about Clojure in 2020 in advance. To use Eric Normand’s creed: Rock on!
How about you, will you blog about Clojure in 2020? If you do then make sure to add your blog to the Planet Clojure blog aggregator. I just addded a PR for Alexander Oloo, Erik Assum, and Practicalli.
Other places to get your blog posts out are the Blogs Category on
ClojureVerse or the
#news-and-articles on Clojurians slack,
You can also follow Planet Clojure on Twitter if you would like to see some more blogs on your timeline.
Enjoy your holidays, and see you all in 2020!
Hi, my name is Arne (aka @plexus) and I consult companies and teams about application architecture, development process, tooling and testing. I collaborate with other talented people under the banner Gaiwan. If you like to have a chat about how we could help you with your project then please get in touch!