Charles Harries

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Writing about writing

Lots of writing about writing lately: the purpose of blogs, writing for yourself vs. others.

Lots of writing about writing on the RSS feed, lately! I have written almost nothing over the past month, for reasons that will become clear in a few days when I publish my July monthnotes. In the meantime:

Jim Nielsen only posts writing that passes a certain threshold for quality:

So if you’re writing because you want other people to read your writing, some bar can be useful. As King says, writing is refined thinking and hard writing makes for easy reading. Writing is hard for you so that reading can be easy for others.

While Chris Coyier thinks there's no threshold at all:

I’d like to write better individual blog posts, but something has always compelled me to punt out a thought early rather than wait until I have some perfect way to present it. And for the record, I don’t mind reading your posts like that either. We’re not shootin’ for the Pulitzer over here mmkay.

Matthias Ott advocates just putting stuff out there:

Here is a thought. Maybe, we are overthinking it. Maybe, the one thing we should care most about is just putting stuff out there. At least, this is the primary reason we have a personal website, right? We have it to document and share random thoughts, things we learned, and nuggets we found. If we don’t put stuff out there, why have a website in the first place?

I like the distinction between writing for yourself and writing for other people. On this website, I'm writing squarely for myself. Anything I could teach you, you could learn better from someone else—but in an ideal world, this website would be one of those fabled Second Brains you hear about from tech influencers on Twitter: comprehensive, indexable, easily written to. I'm probably only like 30% of the way there on any of those—but I'm getting better all the time.

Writing