Perfection-ism induced hiatus complete

In my previous writings (more than 2 years ago), I discussed building a simple blog generator. These posts described the basic ideas behind the blog generator I built for this (personal) blog.

I built my own software but did not use it. Why?

In my experience, root cause analysis often finds many factors. Explaining why I haven't updated the blog in a couple years has many factors.

First, my personal life became busier. I started a new job. I had a second child. I haven't been doing a lot of personal programming. These are all excuses - if I wanted to, I could have found time to make a new post.

The real reason I stopped updating the blog was that I wasn't happy with it. Writing new posts included some friction; copy & pasting DSL snippets to add new paragraphs or headings. I wanted to make some changes to reduce the friction, and didn't want to write code for more posts until I'd made these changes. In my mind, new posts hinged on complete these updates first so I just didn't.

What are priorities for a blog?

I think building the blog generator was a great experience. It may not have been a challenging pursuit, but was enjoyable (if not a yak-shave). It gave me complete control over my site.

I had wanted to do major surgery to the blog generator to take the DSL in a new direction. As I thought about the mental burden of the changes, I realized that benefits of building my own software were not outweighing the costs (anymore).

If I want the blog to be an effective communication tool or just personal record of my thoughts, the most important feature is ease of writing. My own blog was not easy (at least, not yet) to write for.

The benefits of building a blog generator had run their course; I know I can do it, but is building and maintaining this tool how I want to spend my time? The answer came back a resounding - no.

Priorities come first

One important lesson I’ve been pondering lately is that it’s priorities and judgement matters; it’s magnitudes faster to be on an effective path sooner than to move quickly on an ineffective path.

Prioritizing is discussed so often that its boring for me to mention it here but it has been revelatory for me, including several moments thinking “how could I have been so lost before?”

As a mid-career engineer, I’ve discovered that I can have an outsized impact by guiding efforts away from rabbit holes and pitfalls. For example, an early-career Adam would have spent many hours considering the dozens of blog generator tools available and the merits of each. Now, I’m able to first consider my priorities and criteria then quickly filter the available options to make a decision.

So, how does the blog work now?

Once I realized that I wanted to get out of the blog generator game, it became clear that I should just leverage an existing tool that makes it easy to write and publish content.

I considered many blogging tools before landing on quickblog. I've been enjoying Clojure for nearly a decade and quickblog is built on tools and a language that I already understand while fitting with my priorities.

Porting over the handful of previous posts and existing styles required a bit of work but I'm expecting in the long run, the investment will pay itself back. And, you're likely to read new content from me in the future.

A short segway on parenting with priorities

My daughter’s favorite reminder when we’re late is to “remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady wins!”. She’s quite wise for a 5 year old! Even at my age, the rushing mindset is an easy trap in which to succumb. I think it’s actually quite rare that rushing is the optimal path; the downside of being late is often less than the risk of making mistakes by mindlessly rushing. My daughter may test my patience by being so frequently distracted but does trying to rush her help? I’d venture “no”.

Published: 2023-02-01

Tagged: priorities quickblog personal blog