My 2017 Writing Goal
I’ve tried to write something every week for the past few years, but I’m not 100% consistent. It usually comes in waves where I spend a week or two cranking out several articles and then maybe a month without much output, but I’m going to up my consistency and hopefully volume in 2017.
My goal for 2017: Publish something every day.
Most days won’t be long, detailed posts, but I’m making it my mission to write and publish at least one piece of content every day. I’ve got a long backlog of blog post ideas, I’ve been writing news commentary on Medium, and I’m about to start editing and republishing old blog content as well.
I hope to do a few things during this year while focusing on shorter, daily writing. First, I’d like to build the habit of writing every day. I have found that if I do something every day - run, write code, read the news, publish a blog post - I’m more invested in it and I tend to get better at it as well.
Second, I’m hoping to push myself outside of my typical topic range. By writing and publishing something every day, I’ll need to come up with new ideas in order to keep myself from getting bored. I’d like to try doing some creative fiction and personal writing in addition to my usual tech op/ed style.
Finally, I would like to improve myself. I feel that writing is one of the most valuable skills a technical leader can possess, and you don’t have to be professionally trained for years to do it. I don’t consider myself an especially skilled writer, but I enjoy it, and I want to get better by doing it every day.
My 2017 publishing calendar
I’m going to record everything I publish in 2017 here. I will probably only update the list once per month or so, but I’m hoping that by the end of the year I’ll have a nice collection of varied writing in this list.
In January, I did a daily news journal on my Medium account. Each article is a summary of one big story I read or the compilation of trends that I’ve noticed.
- 2017 and Flying Cars
- What Happens When the President Fights the Intelligence Apparatus?
- Always Be Learning
- Hiring is Hard; Culture is Misleading
- A “Crazy” Workplace isn’t a Good Sign
- Cars as a Service
- Globalism vs. Nationalism: the New Left and Right
- Not Even Age Saves You From Student Loans
- Nuclear’s Future
- Why Economists are Never Right
- HTTP2 and the New Web
- A New Lease on Healthcare
- Are Colleges Realizing They’re Overcharging
- Thinking in Extremes
- Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins
- Transportation and Cars
- The Value of Well Built Side Projects
- China as a Globalization Leader
- Student Debt is Crippling Half of Loan Holders
- How Large Tech Companies Stay Current
- The Irony of Conservative Nationalism
- RethinkDB: The Challenge of For-Profit Open Source
- Freeing People Through UBI
- The Attraction of Paper is Flexibility
- Building a New Healthcare System from First Principles
- Harvard Endowment Going Outsourced
- The Truth is Bad Enough
- Opinionated Software Development Frameworks
- How Far Will We Let the Government Go In the Name of Security?
- Reactive Event-Based Programming
- Misplaced Fear
This month, I edited and republishing one old article from my blog every day. I’ve been writing here for over five years, so many of the older pieces have gotten a bit stale or the formatting has degraded as I’ve switched blogging platforms. Most of the updates I’m making are minor edits, but a few articles got some significant additions.
- How I built a following on Google+
- College students: your blog sucks
- Business blogging without the lies
- A proposal for non-profit search engines
- Community is about engagement, not size
- Breaking Into the Online Publishing Industry
- Success is in your attitude
- One Thing That Separates Successful People From Failures
- Training for Focus: 4 Ways to Keep Your Eyes on the Big Picture
- What Will You Regret? 5 Ways to Live Without Any
- Where Have All the Business Models Gone? Did the Internet Kill the Need for One?
- My Beef With Twitter: Taking the Engagement Out of Social Media
- Writing - You Don’t Need a Degree for it
- Determining the Value of Online Data
- Are You Placing the Blame Internally or Externally?
- Incremental Software Development with PHP Microservices
- The Key to Success: Never Stop Learning
- What Being Made Up as a Swedish Drag Queen Taught Me About New Experiences
- Stress a Little, It’s Okay
- How Startups Know When They’ve Got the Technology Right
- Pursue Your Passion. Period.
- The Power of Responsiveness - Web Design for Multiple Platforms
- Marketing isn’t about Content Creation, it’s about Platform Creation
- Be Unique, and Don’t Wait
- Everybody’s Got an Idea. Ideas Suck. Action Doesn’t.
- America: The Country of Escape Artists
In March I spent my daily writing time working on my open source book, CTO Patterns. The goal of the project is to define a set of patterns that startup and small company CTOs can use to help them be more successful.
During the course of the month I worked on the following chapters:
- What is a CTO?
- Defining Success
- Dealing with Fear and Uncertainty
- Striking a Balance
- Agile in a Nutshell
I also republished a couple posts here on my blog:
- Health as a Long-Term Investment in Your Success
- API and Database of Accredited Colleges in the United States
In April I republished more posts here on my personal blog. I really enjoyed spending a month revisiting and cleaning up old posts in February, and I’ve still got a big backlog of posts that need some TLC.
- The Myth of the Hero
- The Key to Networking: Keeping in Touch
- Be Indispensable
- Myths you’ll here about working at a startup
- The Risk in Sending Your Startup’s Technology Offshore
- Why the Textbook Industry Needs a Technical Revolution
- Innovation in Small Organizations
- What to Expect from a Developer “Bootcamp”
- Contentment Comes from People not Things
- Working Hours, Burnout, Pacing
- Keeping Goals Manageable
- Trello as a Reading List
- Peopleware: All Technology Problems are Really People Problems
- Roadblocks to Project Estimation
- Five Takeaways from Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship
- Creating a Tech Startup without a Developer: the Lean Way
- Why I Gave Up Alcohol
- Testing the Layers in a Microservice Architecture
- I took a few days off to get married here…
- Know Your Competition When Hiring
- When Student Loans Go Bad, We’re All on the Hook
- Security for Engineers at Early Stage Startups
- Continuous Integration on a Budget
- Knowing When Your Business is Ready to Launch
- Guage Your Startup’s Technical Maturity Level
- Setting up a Remote Development Environment
In May I am back to publishing my daily news commentary as I did in January:
- On-demand production and manufacturing
- Building a PHP Command Line App with Docker
- Computer assisted prison terms
- Trusting Security to the Internet of Things
- The Economics of Restaurant Ownership
- My First Weekend with Hyper.sh
- The Age of Learning
- To Scale or Not To Scale?
- When Humans and Robots are Indistinguishable
- Home Ownership in 2017
- On Computer Science and Education
- Explore vs. Exploit as an Architectural Choice
- Disruption in Higher Education
- Continuous Integration and Deployment for PHP Command Line Apps
- “Freemium” Stock Trades
- The Flattening Communication Pipelines
- The Fine Line Between Impatience and Prudence
- The Value of Backups
- The “Not my Fault” Mentality
- Fitness as a Way of Life
- Bad News for Patent Trolls
- What Really Matters When Exploring New Technology
- The Age of Privacy is Over
- Prioritization is Always Relative
- Every Company Must be a Technology Company
- Rethinking the Role of the Postal Service
- Writing a PHP Command Line Script
- Making Your First Website with PHP
- Working with Arrays in PHP
In June, I’m starting a new blog: Shiphp. Shiphp is a collection of PHP tutorials starting with simple things like arrays and functions, and moving into more advanced topics like using Docker with PHP.
- Writing a PHP Command Line Script
- Making your first website in PHP
- Working with Arrays in PHP
- Introduction to Loops in PHP
- Functions in PHP
- Type hinting and return types in PHP 7
- Running a PHP script in a Docker container
- File uploads in PHP
- Classes in PHP
- Conditional operators
- Running a PHP web application within a Docker container
- Installing Composer packages using Docker containers
- Try/Catch blocks in PHP
- Using PHP environmental variables in Docker containers
- Running a PHP/MySQL application in Docker containers
- Running a PHP/Postgres application in Docker containers
- Running PHPUnit tests in Docker containers
- Switch statements in PHP
- Running a SlimPHP application in Docker containers
- Array functions in PHP
- Interfaces and Abstract Classes
- Running Wordpress with Docker containers
- Running a Laravel Application in Docker
In July, I continued to work on my book, CTO Patterns.
In August, I worked on several new writing projects.
- I reorganized my CTO Patterns book outline and got some more work done on it.
- I wrote 10,000 word eBook for Shiphp.com called “Building PHP Applications in Docker”
- I wrote the Side Project Marketing Checklist and a few blog posts related to it:
- The Power of Marketing on Linkedin
- How the Side Project Checklist went viral
- Why Side Projects Need Marketing
- Email Marketing Tools for Side Projects
- How to Use the Side Project Marketing Checklist
- Survey Tools for Side Projects
- Contributing to the Side Project Marketing Checklist
- Landing page tools for side projects
- I wrote about my upcoming presentation for the API Strat & Practice conference
- I also wrote an article for php[architect] magazine that was published in their September issue.
This month, I’m working on a blog post for Codeship, more content for the Side Project Checklist, and more blog posts for Shiphp.com.
October - December
I’ll keep the lists above updated every month or so for my own accountability as well as for anyone who’s interested. Thanks for reading, and if you get inspired to write something every day, let me hear about it on Twitter.