On the blogging surge

As you may have noticed, I've severely stepped up my blog posting rate lately. I'm trying get into the habit of posting on a consistent schedule. I'm doing this in an effort to improve my communication skills and prevent brain atrophy.

Writing is an important skill to have, especially for a programmer. There are two reasons for this. First, it makes you look good by comparison, as many programmers are half-literate code junkies who can just barely put a coherent sentence toegether. Second, and more importantly, a lot of the communciation we engage in is over the internet, i.e. written. We thrive on mailing lists, comment boards, e-mail, IRC, and the like. This is especially true in the FOSS world, where you may easily find yourself working closely with someone you will never see face to face.

Given that, it is clearly important that we be able to express our thoughts clearly, succinctly, and without putting the reader to sleep. You develop that ability the same way you learn anything else: practice. And for me, the most convenient way to practice is to blog.

In addition to becoming a better writer, I'm hoping that using a blog as my practice medium will also make me a faster writer. You see, I'm a painfully slow writer. I'm not at all good at coming up with witty, insightful commentary off the top of my head. Instead, I overthink what I'm trying to say, rewrite the same paragraph a dozen times, and eventually spend so much time on a relatively small amount of text that I feel like I've wasted a lot of time and have to rush to get it done. By setting myself a regular schedule of 1 post per business day, I'm hoping that my brain will adapt and get a little quicker on the draw.

And last but not least, it's just nice to have place to hash out whatever I might be thinking along a computing vein. Writing your thoughts down forces you to process them a bit more, to shape them into a point that you can articulate. When it comes to technical topics, particularly related to software development, I don't have a lot of people around to discuss things with, so writing is the most readily available outlet.

I guess we'll see how that all turns out. With any luck, you'll notice this blog getting progressively better in the months to come. If not, then maybe I'll just have to accept that I'm not as smart as I always thought I was. But let's hope it doesn't come to that!

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