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Getting back into blogging

I’m inspired to start blogging again. And to make it less stressful.

Last week, I attended a book even for Austin Kleon’s latest book, Keep Going.

A collegue of mine introduced me to him and have been a fan since.

One thing I learned from him is that he has started blogging again after a long time and wanted to get back to into daily blogging.

The thought of blogging daily sounds like a lot of work (and time I don’t have), since I’ve seen some great technical blog posts. Like this one I ran into recently that is an amazing interactive introduction to Fourier Transforms.

However, after reading through some reflections from Austin himself, it really resonates with me that it is a “mode of thinking.” The past few months, I’ve begun to appreciate the value in writing as a way to manipulate ideas and concepts in your own mind to generate your own mental models of how the world works.

Some of Austin’s posts are short. Some are long. Creating small batches of thoughts is more appealing for me and reduces the barrier that perfectionism imposes on me.

I can’t remember where I read or heard this, but there’s this story of two groups of students tasked to create, say, art. One group was told to make the best they could. The other was told to go for as many as possible.

Turns out the group that made as many as possible ended up producing amazing pieces of work. And because of the iteration and trial and error, they practiced and improved after each one.

I feel like I could do the same with research and teaching.

Additionally, in Austin’s new book, Keep Going, rule three is, “Forget the noun, do the verb.” I’ve considered myself a researcher, coder, and educator.

But I have little to show for each.

So my new goals for blogging are to

  • practice writing more
  • consolidate my learning by sharing in my own words
  • share useful things my past self would like to have known

Things to share

This section I’ll share some things that caught my eye today.

Google’s Applied Digital Skills page where they teach practical digital skills for doing projects and collaborating with Google tools.

In finding others who like to blog for the sake of it, I failed to find a blog post by Yihui Xie on him blogging. But I did run across a way to program RStudio to type things for you. See here for the code.