Why I blog

I started this blog 8 years ago with the intention of sharing code I was working on, troubles in programming I encountered and solved for others to benefit, and to show something I was passionate about.

I regret that I didn’t commit to do this regularly, and that I set the bar for an acceptable post way too high - merely as an excuse not to write.

But a couple of months ago I unintentionally discovered why i blog, and why I must blog.

You see, being passionate about what I do, living and breathing the art of coding, building user experiences and hopefully helping people to a better life, my mind never rests. There’s always something at the top of my mind that I’m “working” on.

And that sometimes makes it hard for me to stay sane. I sometimes feel like my head is about to explode, and it always happens in situations when I should be present. Maybe it’s at dinner with my family, in the morning with my son, alone with my girlfriend - it happens when I’m physically present but mentally in my own world. And the reason I’m in my own world is that I have something that I didn’t get “out of the system”.

Ideas are worthless when held within. I probably have at least 5 imaginative products with complete, imaginative code repositories, thought through based on assumptions. Countless unwritten blog posts. A few open source projects. But what’s the point in that? It’s utterly useless.

When I blog and document what I’m working on, I not only sense a kind of relief - I also discover more about the topic I’m writing about, as I’m writing it. I’m helping myself learn, not because of research, but the act of turning what’s inside into words help me see things differently.

This very post helped me realise a few things, first of all that blogging is a tool for me to get ideas out of my head, to help me discover more about them as I’m writing and that showing my work as I progress is a hell of a lot more effective at telling the story of who I am, and how I work than LinkedIn, a portfolio or a resumé can do.

So to summarize why I blog, I do it for myself! It turns out it has helped other people too, which is amazing. But I primarily do it for myself.

Today I discovered the best blogging advice I’ve ever read:

  1. Start writing.
  2. Hit the “Publish” button.

Simple. Yet quite difficult to actually do, and there’s a ton of useless busy-work you can trick yourself into believing is necessary.

So for the reasons outlined above, here’s my simple recipe for turning my blog into a meditative tool for me:

Just write, then publish.

Martin H. Normark

Product and UX Hacker. Web and iOS developer.

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