Wrapping up with a listicle. Classy.
1. It’s not for me
I wrote at the start that I wasn’t totally sure why I was trying NaBloPoMo, but I think this was ultimately why I did give it a go. To double check if this sort of content creation was for me. I’ve always held a little envy of peers that ‘have had a blog for 10 or 20 years’, and I’ve regretted that I didn’t ‘just’ pulling my finger out back then myself and start blogging more. But in truth, I didn’t want to do it then, as I don’t want to now. A lot of output and consistent sharing wasn’t, and isn’t for me. Good to know.
2. It’s really hard with a family
Kids go to school, work, pick up kids or kids come home, dinner, evening time, ideally some game time, then bed time. Fitting in more hours in my little office room away from the family is tough and a bit daft. Unless there’s a clearer goal or value add maybe.
3. I find self promotion excruciating
I had planned to post a link to each post, but only did a couple in the end. This plan came from a non-NaBloPoMo post in October where I experimented with ‘pushing’ a post on Twitter and LinkedIn. It felt a bit yucky to be honest. I think this relates more to the last point listed here though. The important question of ‘why’ an I self promoting? What is my goal? We need more objectives to our outputs.
4. Lot’s of ideas but questionable value
I could easily think of things to write or say every day, but it becomes noise. I don’t want to add to the noise with things of little value. Or to rehash the same old default design posts. Digital waste.
5. Deadlines didn’t help with longer and potentially more interesting post
I’ve got 3 or 4 drafts that I couldn’t finish in time. Forcing to write every day prevented these longer posts for me. That seems daft. To not write with more consideration because there’s not time.
6. It feels best when it feels constructive
Small value, but value. Maybe it’s more about not adding negativity than being really constructive and groundbreakingly observant all the time. But one major takeaway is that moaning feels awful, while the slight feeling of putting something out that even one person might find useful, feels pretty nice.
7. I think I’ve made marginal gains with my writing style
Gains are relative. I’m still a pretty poor writer, but this month has felt like an intensive course. A good workout.
8. A format is really good though, as much as I dislike this one
It annoys me that it takes a format, a deadline and a social contract for me to actually create and complet things. That’s a problem. Which leads to…
9. I need to work on my strategy
I mentioned this in a post about books, and how a business strategy book is actually feeling like a self help book. I stand by it, and my need to get on and finish it off. A big and I think beneficial take away of this month has been the urgency to get my ‘strategy of self’ sorted. Maybe the time I free up from writing every night can go to that.
In fact, that’s a nice thought. This is the last post.
I’m nearly done.
So meta, to blogpost about my blogposts from a month of trying to blogpost every day. Maybe it’s a good entry point if you, dear reader*, happen to find this one first.
*I read this phrasing in an article recently and couldn’t believe that people still use it. But then I thought, how else do you quickly address the reader then by calling them reader. Maybe the ‘dear’ isn’t totally necessary, but just calling them – sorry – you ‘reader’ feels a little informal. I digress.
- Having a go at National Blog Posting Month and not totally sure why. An intro post.
- Doing things ‘wrong’. A post about something I believe, inspired by a tweet from someone sharing the same idea.
- Codifying life – There’s a law for everything. A collection of a few favourite truisms.
- You should offer something. Even if it’s just thinking, experience, or early ideas. This one stands out for me. Most for the point it’s making than my writing. Sharing ideas with good intention and with intent to trigger interesting connections. That feels like something I actually want to do, rather than just sharing opinions for opinion sake.
- Icons and emoji distract me ℹ️ 🤷♂️ 😵 Can we please stop using them so much? I’m pleased with this one though it took me ages to write. I’m too slow at writing to write proper(ish) length posts like this often. But I do again like that this post shred a point of view and some suggestions as to how something works, or could work. More observation than just opinion. Could still be more constructive though.
- Business books for self help. Self help books for parenting tips. Parenting books for business insight. Another nice enough one, sharing ideas that I feel could be beneficial to others. One that I’d like to explore more though. To dig into the patterns of these books, and even see if there’s an equivalent in there to the 7 story archetypes.
- Personal Parables #14. It wasn’t brains that got me here, I can assure you that. A bit of a cheat post. Already had this half in draft, and it was following a format that I’ve done 13 times before! Still, a good prompt to finally get this one out there. These personal parables feel quite cathartic in writing about. I really do have a strong feeling that we’re all actually made up of random cultural references like this. That our personalities are more about cartoons and things we watch when we were younger.
- Browser Tab Amnesty #4. As above, a but of a cheat post, following a format I’ve done before. But I’ve been thinking about sharing links more often so good to test the idea again. And in conclusion, I’m not totally sure why I would share ‘my’ links. I don’t find it easy to reference this blog, I don’t have a following, and I don’t want to push to build one. Maybe I do need to start using Notion and saving my links properly for myself, like so many Notion fan friends has suggested. Actually, no, it’s the idea of paying a subscription to save links for myself that’s the issue there.
- How to fail. This one was a bit of an early tipping point I think when I realised writing a lot and often wasn’t working out. Still not managed to finish off the original post that I started either.
- Naming things is hard Part 2. Choosing a name for yourself. This one I nearly deleted, many times. I still think about it. It contains genuine thoughts, but sharing this feels really odd. I knew it would, and that’s why the draft stayed incomplete for 10 months since part 1. There’s a self indulgence and oversharing here that doesn’t sit well. I can’t see the benefit or value in sharing this. Good to get it out, and confirm that this sort of thing isn’t right.
- If you want me to attend, then I want to know what, when, where. A feeling I’ve had for a long time, but I feel there’s more benefit to give in observing this and suggesting resolutions. I ran out of time though and wanted to design a proper alternative rather than just image hacking. Another example of needing more time to write and compose.
- Look→Left?. Another that I’d like to expand on and actually test as I say at the end. But writing them quick fire like this removes the chance of that ever happening. This should have been a draft that I came back to, and turned into a project.
- Dark patterns when paying for parking. And again! I like the intention behind this post, but out comes across too much as a moan. I waned to explore the reason that this sort of design happens, and suggest ways to improve it. This could have been such a constructive post, but time made it another parking meter moan, and I bet there are thousands others like it.
- Have you read? Have you heard? Have you seen? Have you been? Another cheat post. But an idea I’ve had for a while. To effectively repost old ideas that still feel relevant. Maybe the word ‘review’ is more constructive.
- Barbershop semiotics and other subtle nudges. As above. Though the story behind the tip makes me smile. The barber where I took this photo in 2008, told me in 2021 (when I revisited for old times sake) that they all remember me taking the photo. I asked if I could take it, but apparently it was really weird and notable. So much so that for the next 3 years that I still used the barber, I was known as ‘that guy that took the photo of the tip that time’. After rediscovering the image, and posting this, I happened to be passing though Covent Garden recently and so popped in again to show it. The owner was so delighted and touched that I’d remembered and came in. He asked me to share the image so he could send it to the hairdresser that whose tip it was. I loved being a local there. And I love that he still remembers me, and keeps in touch with his long ago staff.
- For the love of desire paths. I need to check on this one still. Not totally sure what the issue is that people have with desire path metaphors.
- Words we don’t realise we use in different ways: Roadmap. There’s something in this but I’m not really sure who I’m writing to here, or what benefit I’m creating by writing it. Feels like it could lead to something of value, but this isn’t it.
- Fartlek. A cheat post way of saying I’m to tired to post.
- Addressing needs with unusual tactics: What if we had to use postcards? There’s a version of this that would make a good art college or workshop brief maybe.
- What does the absence of design look like? As above.
- Picking a fight with a saying: ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. A rant that I’m not sure landed in a very sense making way. It tries to be constructive though.
- The job of doing design. There’s something in this, but it also feels a bit to try hard. Like I’m hoping people will use the images or something. Feels too ‘inspirational instagram account’ for my liking.
- Browser Tab Amnesty #5. As with number 8.
- Realising the actual user need. A love letter to user needs, a tiny design detail, to realising my own ignorance. Felt like more value than most other posts. Positive at least.
- Wrapping up the week. I was actually very drunk when I wrote this one, and haven’t re-read it. I reckon it’ll be full of more mistakes than usual, but I’m leaving it there for posterity. Like a little crime scene. Proud I managed to get it written in that state though, AND keep my Duolingo streak that night.
- Priming users for disappointment. A rant that was honestly trying to be constructive, or at least aware or the challenge. Follow up: I got a refund! Now I feel a bit bad about the post. But it’s 26 of 30 so it’s staying up.
- A shout out to those that deliver. I like this one, but feel it could go further, or include some more constructive suggestions.
- Day 28 of 30, of National Blog Posting Month… Biggest cheat post of all. It was late and I was very tired. Desperate to make it 30 for 30 though by this stage.
- Wish lists: Talk formats and design school briefs. After giving a talk and doing some tutorials at Kingston University, these came back to mind. I really would like to try these but can’t imagine when I’ll get the chance any more.
- You are here. And I’m done.