The one with my blogging journey

Photo by RetroSupply on Unsplash

The one with my blogging journey

Sanjay Babu's photo
Sanjay Babu
·May 11, 2022·

Table of contents

Let us start with a bit of background to provide some context.

Chapter 1 - The one where a random guy faraway eating bat soup affected me!

I am a full-stack developer with 3 years of experience. I have always wanted to share my thoughts and contribute to the tech community which has helped me throughout my journey, but I always had some reason to back out. I even bought this domain (sanjaybabu.dev) back in 2020. But as we are all aware something massive happened in 2020 which disrupted the entire world like never before. I was fortunate enough to survive the pandemic with relatively minimal effects, but it still made enough alterations in my life to suspend this.

Chapter 2 - The one where I tried to eat a burger with a spoon!

In 2021, when life started to return to a semblance of normalcy, I started writing, but chose the wrong platform for doing it - Twitter and stopped writing within a week.

Why do I feel uncomfortable writing tech articles on Twitter?

  • Very short character limit. It's not nearly enough to explain any tech topics. No offense to tons of threads out there with some really high-quality content. But personally, I didn't like reading threads and hated writing them even more.
  • Inserting images for code snippets. It was cumbersome for me, the writer, and a worse experience for the reader since they cannot copy the code from the image.

But to be fair, these are not twitter's shortcomings. Twitter was not made for this. It was like trying to eat a burger with a spoon. It is possible, but it's just not the right way!

Chapter 3 - The one where I tried to fly without even standing up first!

A few weeks after giving up on being a Twitter blogger, I was working with react for a side project of mine and found that I was not comfortable with a lot of javascript. So I decided to brush up on my javascript and learn the advanced concepts!

That's when I thought "Why not write a blog about what I am learning?" Looked like a brilliant idea then. I could learn as well as write about it. It was like killing 2 birds with a single stone! Well to be fair, I did kill 2 birds with a single stone. Just not the way I expected. I stopped both learning and blogging. I tried to write a really impressive in-depth blog about each topic in JS like JS Engine, Hoisting, Closures, etc. Being in a slightly demanding full-time job, I got overwhelmed by learning and then documenting it and ended up doing nothing. It was like trying to fly before even learning to stand up first!

Chapter 4 - The one where I got on the right path

Now, I was sure about a few things this time due to my past learning experiences(failures!)

  • Platform - Publish in the personal blog(Powered by Hashnode) and cross-post it in Dev Community. No more Twitter shenanigans. Just tweet the link to the blog if possible.

  • Content - Should be short. Even if it's a small topic, some simple, useful byte-sized information.

So moving on, One day I was having a casual chat with my friend and he was sharing his recent interview experience and that's when I thought about the next idea for writing again. Writing daily about one atomic concept in java, javascript, or React which may be asked in an interview. It was a perfect fit for me and within 2 days of thinking of this idea, I published my first ever blog post(excluding Twitter) on my personal blog(blog.sanjaybabu.dev) and in DEV.to!

I started a series called 100 days of Interview Questions. This was a far far greater success than all of my previous experiments. I have so far published daily for 10 consecutive days in this series! I know this is a small sample size, but still, writing had many unexpected positive knock-on effects too.

  • I started waking up early and my eternally broken sleep cycle was finally fixed.
  • I got into "The flow state" which helped me at work too. I was now more focused than ever.
  • I got a few good ideas for side projects.
  • When updating my bio in dev.to & Hashnode, it asked me for other social media profiles. So I revamped my LinkedIn profile, Twitter profile, and Github profile which I was planning for a long time.

This was perfect. Almost! But..., yes! Of course, there is still a 'but'. After about 7 or 8 days, I began to realize the mistake in this chapter too! Can you guess what it is?

"The 100 days" part!

I learned another hard lesson that we should not put any pressure like X days, especially when you are just starting out. Now I am excited to work on the above-said side project ideas. I was trying to participate in ongoing writing contests in both dev.to & hashnode. But first I had to write this series because I committed to 100 days. So I have decided 100 days part is not gonna be 100 consecutive days, just 100 posts and taking some breaks in between. Which would have been so simple if I had not mentioned the X days.

The 100 days of Interview Questions series may not be a great success. But just few weeks ago, I couldn't even imagine a post like this without any preset content and writing from my heart instead! So it did get me on the right path and I will always be grateful for that!

Closing thoughts

Last but not the least, the dev.to community.❤️ The response(or lack of any) in hashnode was abysmal. Maybe it had something to do with publishing under a custom domain instead of hashnode.

However, dev.to community literally carried me and made sure I don't stop. Even a few likes or a couple of bookmarks or comments go a long way in motivating the new writers. The thought that even 1 fellow developer found my writing good enough to interact with it really makes my day!

So if anyone reading this piece, go ahead and share your blogging journey in the comments! I always love to hear the origin stories!

 
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