Longer FormsΒΆ

A friend asked me a question (several weeks ago by publication) on a technical topic and I spent most of the next few days writing a missive on database administration strategy. That seemed like a normal response. I was delighted to find that: I liked the voice, I enjoyed writing the longer document, and there are a dozen or so other related topics that I wanted to explore. So, apparently, I’m writing a book. This is exactly what I need: more projects. Not.

But it’s a good thing: I find the writing inspiring and invigorating. I have a perspective and collection of knowledge that hasn’t been collected and presented in a single place. I like long form writing. The larger piece might also be a good contribution to my portfolio (such as it is.)

I think this kind of writing suits my attention span.

This has left me without a lot of spare time for blogging, and (as I’m prone to do every so often,) rethinking the future of my efforts on tychoish.com and as a blogger. This is boring for all of you, but I’ll give some higher level stuff here and we can follow up in comments:

  • Blogging is fun, and even though I’ve not been posting regularly, I’m always writing blog posts. Sometimes I find myself writing posts in emails to friends, but I’m never really going to stop writing blog posts.

  • The general explosion of blog publishing that we saw a few years ago has declined. Audience fragmentation happened, readership got entrenched. I feel like I weathered the storm pretty well and I’m really happy with the site and readers I have, but I’m also pretty confident that blogging isn’t going to be the means by which I “level up.” [1]

  • eBooks have finally happened. For the last decade most people have been saying that ebooks are great for reference material (given search-ability,) and for providing an introduction to a text that people will eventually buy in a paper edition. That may be true, but I think it’s changing rapidly, and with kindles and tablets and smart-phones, I think eBooks have effectively won, such as it is.

    In another ten years, perhaps, we’ll just call them books.

  • I’m pretty clear that keeping a blog, and perhaps most of the writing I do in my spare time is for my own enjoyment and betterment and helps to develop a personal portfolio and account of my work. I have no (real) interest in using my writing on tychoish.com or any other side that I maintain, as a way of supporting myself to any greater or lesser extent.

I want to be in the business of writing things and working with technology and ideas and people, not the business of publishing. While the line is not always clear between “writing projects that you publish yourself online,” and “new media publisher,” I want to stay away from the later as much as possible.

So I think this means that most of my “tychoish,” writing time will go to writing this book project, and to fiction, and once my blog post backlog is fully depleted (heh,) most of my postings will either be announcements/progress-reports or a bunch of shorter more off-the-cuff notes.

Here’s hoping at least.

[1]I can’t really believe that I just used “level up” in this context.

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2011-12-23

  • tychoish
  • technical-writing, blog

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tychoish is a blog about software, science fiction, community, music, knitting, and economies with particular attention to their past and future histories. Produced in Brooklyn by tycho garen.

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