Here we go again...

If you wish to be a writer, write. Epictetus

A Brief History

I took up writing as a hobby in the sophomore year of my bachelors and it turned out to be the most definitive step towards bettering my way with words and expressing myself accurately.

This is the fourth major iteration on my blogging system and I’ve noticed that I’m slowly tending towards minimalism and an overall clutter-free approach with each step, building up from my past stylistic mistakes and experiences. As with any beginner, I began with enthusiasm and held my ideas in high regard - a major reason for why I felt they should be out there. Over time, as I read more, I learned I had a lot more to learn and finally after a long break of writing frequently, here I am again, at symbolic ground zero - drafting a first post.

In my last major writing phase, I did so solely for myself. While enjoyable for as long as that lasted, one can’t continue to write ,without a definite purpose, without exhausting enthusiasm. An external indicator of progress is necessary to measure oneself, in absence of which, one could beat around the bush for eternity, accumulating works of mediocre caliber. My last system was more inclined towards the notion of “logging” than that of writing and was lacking discipline - progress was slow and wasn’t explicitly observable: it was a rather naïve approach towards building an online presence other than a social media profile. By the end of it, I was even creating my own words (thanks to my etymological interests) that I had to maintain records in an appendix: such actions added to the esoteric nature of my intellectual interests : making whatever I published less accessible to the common folk.

The Present

I am picking up the symbolic quill (I’m typing of-course) after a mental rock-bottom and inactivity (mental and physical) of roughly a year.

As I begin to re-enter the world and get back to trying to be an adult, I wish to establish systems that will help me document the lessons while building myself up again.

I like reading (another literary habit that’s on par with writing that took a hit this past low) - be it practical or non-fictional abstracts (I still don’t do fiction). Remembering what I’ve read is more important than racing through books and writing is something that explicitly helps me with:

  1. applying stylistic lessons from works that I consume
  2. actually consolidating what I read and not just collect completions as trophies but as an evolving node in a malleable knowledge network.

To explicitly segregate these objectives so that I can work on them independently, I’ve sectioned the latter in the buffer subdomain of my website accessible via the brain dump tab above.

Any time I wish to add to/prune/manipulate the knowledge network, I can do so without worrying about how it’s presented, while also being able to practice presenting my thoughts well on the main blog.

Elaborating ..

Maintaining a good writing pipeline is essential to automate the process of generating content. In my past endeavours, the process involved the phases of :

  • planning
  • drafting
  • editing
  • posting

This linear process fails to capture how a writer might really think when formulating prose. One would like having convenient access to past works for relevant links and editing is not really a one-and-done job but an iterative process…

Moreover, this makes blogging a versioned process, rather than a living, breathing organism (the sect of lispers might know where I pick this up from) that more closely follows your thoughts, maturing over time.

This also makes you believe that each post is an independent project in itself and discourages linkages with existing works.

I intend to improve upon this process with this setup of decoupling my notes and what I publish.

I have two major objectives (implicitly interdependent) associated with my online presence on the main blog and the buffer:

  • To write for myself
  • To write for others

Both are important aspects towards being good writer and need to be independently catered to so as to not deter my proficiency in the other.

The buffers will be a personal brain dump where I won’t care about formalizing my notes and any other necessities of published works. They will be shorter and linked to other buffers. The main blog will be a formalized projection of multiple inter-related buffers into one serialized output : a snapshot of the living, breathing organism that I intend the buffers to evolve into.

Here we go again…

This time around, I do feel relatively wiser and a little more tempered than when I first began. Quite excited to know as to what I achieve with a fresher but slightly more mature perspective than I had 4 years ago.