I change the title of my blog, again.
I used to have two blogs; I wrote purely technical topics on this one and wrote personal and political views on the other. After realizing that I was spending too much time, effort, and emotional capital on my political blog, I decided to retire my "political blogger" hat and focus on writing about technology.
With less than 10 entries per year however, one thing was clear -- I wasn't writing about technology enough!
Sure I was quipping on them -- taking tiny snipes on Twitter and Facebook. But other than that I was avoiding any real work, and any real connection that inspires me two write something.
That is, until I came across Michael Lopp's excellent entry on his blog Rands in Repose:
What’s the last thing you built when you got that high? You know that high I’m talking about? It’s staring at a thing that you brought into the world because you decided it needed to exist.
For me, the act of writing creates the builder’s high. Most pieces are 1000+ words. They involve three to five hours of writing, during which I’ll both hate and love the emerging piece. This is followed by another hour of editing and tweaking before I’ll publish the piece, and the high is always the same. I hit publish and I grin. That smile is my brain chemically reminding me, Hey, you just added something new to the world.
Turn off those notifications, turn your phone over, turn on your favorite music, stare at your blank slate and consider what you might build. In that moment of consideration, you’re making an important decision: create or consume? The things we’re giving to the future are feeling increasingly unintentional and irrelevant. They are half-considered thoughts of others. When you choose to create, you’re bucking the trend because you’re choosing to take the time to build.
That struck me. If I really wanted to make my mark on the world I have to build something. If I really want to become the kind of software developer I always wanted to be I have to write more, both in terms of words and in terms of code. I really want to experience the builder's high, that great feeling of having added something to the world.
Happy New Year, and I wish you all the energy and inspiration you need to build something awesome this year.