Thomas Wilson

5/6/2021

The Weekly #39 (or #1, whatever)

I’m going to stop writing my “things I learned” blog posts. They don’t serve me in the way that they used to. As I wrote recently: kill your ideas and side projects, gladly and without delay.

Death is more of a transition, though. The things I learned this week post is becoming simply _The Weekly.

I’m not sure what I’m going to use it to write about, I’m going to take a few weeks to try some new formats out. Starting next week. This week I had to kill an old(-ish) friend.

Thirty seven weeks ago (in August of 2020) I started writing a weekly blog post with a collection of random tidbits I had learned that week. I’d also put music recommendations and any cool articles I had come across. It was a great way for me to justify the time I spent on random corners of the internet, and share my love for the world. There’s just so much cool stuff going on. Bees cook their enemies, authors write seminal science fiction books over a summer in an Italian villa with other famous poets, some dudes stop millions of pounds worth of books from Gatwick airport.

But I don’t browse the internet as much anymore. If you keep looking at your screen the algorithms will keep serving you up content and it felt a) distracting, and b) like you would never reach the end of it. The algorithms are much less inclined to serve you up random historical facts, and much more inclined to show you snappy videos and hot takes. This is the problem with advertiser-driven models of business. But I digress.

I hate homework, and browsing the internet, fighting against the gain of The Feed , started to feel like homework. The knack to a healthy side project is tricking your brain into thinking that it’s not homework (it definitely is though).

So I was doing something I didn’t enjoy or want to do because I felt I had to. That’s disingenuous. I don’t want to be disingenuous and I want to spent my time on projects that fulfil me (even if I never do ship them).

What now? I want to keep doing weekly posts. I get a lot from it. For the past two weeks I’ve put out a post nearly every 2-3 days. I obviously don’t need the impetuous to write this week. But some weeks I do. As much as I bemoan “it feels like homework”, sometimes we need that homework. Delayed gratification and all that.

So I’m going to continue writing weekly, and call them The Weekly. I’ve got a few ideas about the kinds of thing I’d like to write about, most entirely in the realm of non-fiction, but still distant enough from my day job that I’m not just a software engineer all day every day. But hopefully something with a little more overlap to other areas in my life. Something where the algorithms of content can keep their tentacles away from.

I’m uncertain if I would like to write timely or evergreen content. I see the benefit in both. I have written both. Let’s see.

This is the The Weekly #39 (or #1 depending on how you count). It’s taken me a few days to decide this was the best idea, and I don’t much fancy trying to whip up something entirely new in the next two days. Accept this apology or don’t.

You should write If you are reading this don’t write anything but think you might like to, or would simply like to write more, do it. Weekly. First thing on Saturday morning or last thing on Friday, pull up a chair to your kitchen counter, pour yourself a mug of something hot or a glass of something fun, and start writing. No one’s going to read it anyway.

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