Introspection on Work Mentality

What does it mean to get the job done?  Well, I am starting to find out some of my own quirks when it comes to my getting the job done.  The biggest quirk is most evident in my blog writing style and my coding style.  And note, I am intentionally trying to break my blog writing style with this particular entry.  Let’s see if we all agree on my success or failure.

When I sit down to write a blog, particularly if its an opinion blog entry such as my most recent I always start off with what I consider a good piece and begin to write.  Then I stop and realize that I continue writing deeper and deeper and start making essay length  opinion pieces from what should have been just quick updates.  Then I realize, wait, if this is an essay, it should try to express and encapsulate a well thought out argument with references, citations and all that good jazz.  Then I put it to the “Professor Test,” of what what would one of my history professors think of this.  If it was Paxton, all my blog entries would fail.  Heck, even my good essays weren’t ever good enough for him.  Porzio can I hear a what-what!  Then my own arguments just don’t even make sense.  Maybe if I sat down and actually outlined my thoughts, I could do it.  But who outlines Blog entries?  Probably professional bloggers?  I don’t get it, are my opinins academic works or not?  Most of the time I just get frustrated and stop writing.  My recent entry had three iterations, but I really wanted to get out what I said.  I am not happy with the end product, it is filled with logic holes and probably some historical over generalizations.  But I guess blogs are supposed to be temporal.

But I have notices that the way I blog is similar to the way I code.  At first I start just hacking some code together to get the job done, but then I think, well, if I am just getting it done now, why not make my life easier in the future and future proof my code.  Future proofing code to me means supplying what may seem like unnecessary overhead to all for easy extensibility in the future.  But overhead takes time, and usually isn’t nearly as fun to write as the code that actually “does stuff.”  Before I know it, the project has ballooned into something huge, overwhelming, and I just stop, frustrated, with nothing to show for my initial efforts.

I have no idea how to compensate for this.  I think, as with everything, the first step has been to acknowledge it.  I will see how it goes from there.  I like coding, and I like writing, but I just can’t seem to do either of them “quick.”

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Introspection on Work Mentality

  1. Noah Briggs

    Your third paragraph is a concise summary of my story-writing style.

  2. Owen

    One of the more popular blogs I read, Coding Horror, is basically the opposite of your style: The author tends to make bold claims about things he doesn’t fully understand, and then try to defend them in the swarm of comments.

    I think of a successful blog as one enough that you attract a discussion. Ideally, that means you make solid, but controversial statements; perhaps the runner-up would be an article with some plot holes.