Starting a new blog comes with a taste of yelling into the void. You set everything up, make it look pretty but not too fancy so readers can concentrate on the content itself and not on the unicorns flying around on the screen. Then you press the publish button (or in my case enter
git push on the console) and – nothing. No comments on any of your social media channels, not a single one on your blog itself. The least you can hope for is that your friends and family give you a clap on your shoulder.
As someone who already had a blog before I can tell you that these things are frustrating as hell, and you have to be good at motivating yourself to overcome the feelings of giving up and publish your posts nevertheless. That's why I want to say Thank You! if you are reading this. You are the fuel who keeps this engine running.
During my time in high school, I put in the work to get better at photography and videography. As you probably know, in this industry, it's extremely important to build up a portfolio for potential clients so that they get a sense of your skills and style. That's why I built up a small portfolio website with a selection of my best pictures. Then, random people (and now friends) reached out to me asking whether I was available. I was happy to say yes to most opportunities that came along that way. Eventually, I got the chance to work with amazing creative people at places I never would have imagined.
After I graduated high school, I decided against going further the creative path and went into computer science which was an interest of mine since childhood. Now, I want to Press Restart and get back into blogging again to open myself to new opportunities that come along the same way as I've done 5 years ago. This website will be my online home, my basecamp, where people around the world, at any time, can find me. In this way, I try to increase the surface area for serendipity and the chance for luck.
Search for the best setup
It took far to long to finally have this blog up and running. Actually, the first idea of starting a blog again came almost a year ago. What held me back? The search for the perfect setup! Spoiler: There's no perfect setup. As a developer, I did not want to use a simple template. I'd the aspiration to build it by myself. From scratch. With the latest technology. In the end, I went with a setup consisting of Next.js, React, Vercel and Tailwind.css. At one point I'll write an article where I'll show you how I've built my blog in detail. For those of you interested, it's open-source!
A message for those of you interested in blogging: Stop overthinking and just start! Stop worrying about the architecture or styles of the blog and start publishing your ideas. When it takes you longer than a weekend to set it up, you're already overthinking it. The only thing that counts is that you decrease the friction of writing new posts. Because that's what it's all about. Learn from my mistakes and get started!
Writing in the age of leverage
We live in the age of leverage. And we operate in a knowledge-driven economy.
You see it on social media, you see it when you look on the list of most valuable companies. Our beloved internet and technology have enabled individuals to get a bigger reach than the biggest media companies. Small startups can serve millions of customers. Influencers on Instagram and YouTube are earning a lot of money for product recommendations. How is this possible? They are using their leverage. Whether it's technology or a community, leverage is the multiplier for everything you do and every decision you make.
In the knowledge-driven economy, we live in, ideas are the most valuable asset. By having a place where anyone can access your ideas without taking your time you'll not need to sell your knowledge by the hour.
It doesn't matter who you are, what you're currently doing or what you plan to do in the future. Writing is an important skill in many ways. Probably even more important than coding. It helps you to structure your thoughts and communicate your ideas more clearly. I personally believe that it even helps you to read faster and with more clarity. As a software engineer, it helps you to grow your network and brings you opportunities to work with amazingly creative people. On top of that, you're giving something back to the community.
Alone in this first blog post, I touched so many topics where I'd be able to write an entirely separate post about it. I'm happy to share my ideas, thoughts and learnings with you in the years to come. Hopefully, they'll be useful for at least some of you.
I'd like to hear your feedback, so please follow on my social media channels or tweet @jeremypuchta to share your thoughts with me.