I’ve been trying to formulate in my mind what I want to achieve with publishing online and my online life in general. Not to achieve like the world of content creation, worrying about metrics and income, but really what I do it for. What is the yardstick to measure things against if you aren’t really concerned about the yards or the stick that people usually use? My publishing and my browsing habits really come down to three things — tools used, time available and the energy I have.
In my modern life, I nearly always have enough tools available all the time. I do most of my writing on my iPhone, this is in stark contrast to even a few months ago where I would always default to using my Mac. By choosing this separation, it felt a bit more organised and if I sat down to write, I wrote. Whereas now when I have an idea I capture it, or more often than not write the post there and then.
This means that my fingers could nearly always be busy. There are a few moments that I don’t have my phone with me, but I can always capture ideas because there is never a time I don’t have my Apple Watch on. Tools are seldom my problem now I’ve sorted out my publishing workflow.
The biggest thing we all struggle with is time. Finding this in between all the things you have to do in our daily grind can be a task in itself. Thankfully, much like exercising, I can prioritise these above plenty of other things. For me, time spent scrolling social media or watch TV is better spent writing in a journal or publishing a blog post. My only comparison is against what else I could be doing because writing or reading others writing gives me lots of value.
With that said, others will value things differently. Some play games to unwind, some are artists, and some love doing nothing in front of the TV. There is no right or wrong here, just the result of lots of thinking and the occasional values audit.
For me, writing doesn’t always take a lot of time, but it takes some mental energy. A certain level of motivation needs to be achieved to get an idea from a small note into a publishable article. I used to take much less care of things, but despite the scruffy appearance of my blog posts, I do send some time on them.
Energy is also a big decider of where I want to put my reserves when I’ve been at work all day. Writing copy and staring at a computer all day doesn’t always mix very well with wanting to do the same thing when I come home. This is combatted somewhat by my mobile publishing workflow, but occasionally, my remaining energy is better off focused elsewhere. Playing with the kids or completing the endless lists of home jobs I have to do often gets priority here.
It all comes down to this. What do I want to achieve by writing the posts and publishing it? I am always conscious of not writing things to get replies and attention, and would rather get things out that help people. That might be to teach someone a new way of doing something tech related, or just show my thoughts behind topics I am thinking about.
Ultimately, I try to make sure that I don’t expect anything in return for the posts that I write, and that I am fine with that. The result is that I want to help others, or just get the thoughts that I am typing out to a conclusion and at which point I might as well publish them anyway. My blog posts are often a public journal of sorts and cover the topics and concerns I have at the time of writing. I do often wonder why I bother publishing things, but the result is always because I like to, and that’s enough for me.