Reflection on some issues I faced. If you find some of these useful, great. The post is not intended as an advice


Recently I heard the talk python to me podcast where A. Jesse Davis was interviewed. The topic was a bit different than usual python related topics. It was about how to make blogging easy. Jesse talks about several nice things, including the fact that why we should not feel guilty for not blogging regularly.

You should listen to the podcast here if you have not.

So the idea was at the back of my mind for a while, and this post is sort of brain dump of why I am unable to publish regularly inspite of having content written.

Finalize the source format

I kept moving between org and rst. I liked org when I started using emacs. (In fact that was the reason to start using emacs) So few of my initial posts are in org I had one post in asciidoc as well. But I think I will stick to reStructuredText mainly because most of the static site generators will have support for this format.

Even bigger number probably support markdown but then there is no standardization, you have too many flavors out there. Also, I think rst is bit more richer than markdown

I had one post in asciidoc as well

Create/Use templates

In order to get the thoughts on paper (so to speak) I start typing in an empty file. By the time I am done, I have very unformatted text that requires “formatting”, and this is where the delay in “publishing” comes in. I have so many written-but-unpublished posts.

Having templates with headers and categories/tags pre-populated would be good way to reduce the friction. Jesse talks about how we mostly have about 5 different types of posts. May be create just 5 templates for 5 “types” of blogs, and remove the decision making from choosing the categories and tags. (I never remember the list of categories and tags I have used, and always have to search the older posts to get the list, sorta)

On second thoughts, I think nikola already has a script to create a new posts. May be I ought to use that ?

Write more frequently

This may seem confusing. Let me explain. As I mentioned that I usually start writing as a plain text, and later “format” the contents. One of reasons why this happens is because I can't remember the syntax at the time of writing. (and that happens when one keeps switching between org to rst to md. See the first point.)

If I write more often using only one platform, the “formatting” syntax will be part of my memory. I already write the documentation (using sphinx) in rst -another reason to finalize on rst over org or md

Finalize the blogging platform

I have one blog in pelican. (This one. updated after a long time) and other blog in nikola. Switching between them just takes mental effort. If I were to standardize on it, there won't be “switching trouble”

I also want to consider hugo, but my initial attempts to get a blog rolling with a theme-that-i-like hasn't worked well.

But irrespective of the blog generator, if I standardize on reStructuredText, I don't have to worry about switching the blog generators (I think)

Finalize the blog home

On a related note, having single home for my blogs also might be good idea. It is always an effort to decide where should a specific post go. While with my second blog, the idea is very clear - it is about “what I learnt”, so things like “thoughts” should not go there. Yet, sometimes it is not easy. May be just have one blog with category as “wiltw” (short for “What I learnt this week”)

Focus on the content

I am never happy with the themes. I was almost happy with Material Design theme for nikola, but it could not render bullets (can you imagine?) So I switched to a simpler theme. But I am not happy.

But I should just pick one up, stick with it, and not worry about the “look”

I have read several great blogs that look down right ugly, but the contents are worth in gold.

Publish now, refine later

Perfectionist in me wants to read-edit-read a LOT after my initial writing is done. I spend a lot of time in this. May be I should just publish it first, and then refine it.

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker