It’s funny how sometimes simple words are harder to write than others. This one above is the kind we say and write everyday, but today it was a bit harder because it means more than it regularly do when I use it.
Today it means that I am starting something new, that I’m stepping outside my comfort zone by starting these writing sessions, which you can call a blog if you like, a journal if you prefer, or any other word which can represent this (future) bunch of written notes.
Why and why now?
That’s a question I’m asking to myself right now. For the past years, I tried different ways to give back the daily knowledge I have the chance to stumble across, in books, during conferences, on the internet… as well as my personal thoughts, but it never went very well. Not that is caused me any trouble, but each new media or platform I tried was exciting the first week, and then I got bored each time very quickly and stopped creating content.
For reference, I created content on Youtube, Twitter, Vine (rip), Instagram (stories) and Facebook for the past 8 years. It’s probably silly to think I will succeed to write notes here on a regular basis, but right now it feels like it’s the right thing to do. I always thought that I should create the same kind of content I love to learn from, like videos, I love learning things on Youtube, but after making videos on multiple platforms I realized that I was focusing too much on how it looked and how I was talking and not enough on what I was saying.
Let’s be honest, this new approach is genuine but it has been triggered by a recent event. I’m currently reading a book called «The boy who could change the world» which is a post-mortem collection of Aaron Swartz writings, mostly based on the essays and articles he wrote on his blog. If you’ve never heard of him, I’m going to try to make the best one-sentence description I can: «Aaron was a genius computer scientist and political hacktivist who devoted his (too short) life on defending the free access to knowledge for everyone and promoting the collaborative work for a better world ; until he got persecuted by the FBI after he tried to give a free access to all the scientific research papers of the U.S so people could read it for free ; unfortunately he committed suicide after the persecutions at the age of 26… »
Before reading this book, I was struggling writing personal notes on the internet. It was always a very pleasant exercise to write blog posts for my multiple projects, but when I was thinking about writing on my own, I was afraid to mix my professional and personal point of view. The thing is that during the past years, living as a web engineer, sometimes as a freelancer and sometimes as an employee, I’ve seen too many people hiding behind a professional character they’ve built years after years, acting very carefully to never hurt a potential customer, being friendly with people only for business sake.
At one point, I thought it was the only thing to do, that everyone was doing it, so why not doing it myself ? But actually I can’t, it’s not me. I am the same person wether I am talking about business, or petting my dog! So why shouldn’t I write public notes tainted with both my personal and professional experience, right?
Why writing in english?
As you probably noticed, English is not my primary language and to be perfectly honest, I chose to write in English because most of the people I know speak French, they won’t probably read these notes, so it makes it easier to get out of my comfort zone that way! The second argument is because I love this language, but I don’t have many opportunities to speak and write proper English during the day, and I feel like I’m loosing it words after words, so hopefully writing these notes will prevent this from happening…
Will this note be the start of something or will I fail again to write another one? We won’t be able to now until next time…