Growing in the open

November 26, 2017

I started writing online pretty early in my journey as a developer. I've known from the beginning the benefits of writing down what I'm learning and sharing it with others, but as one does, I hit several bumps in the road along the way.

About 8-10 years ago I was in the process of learning and focusing on aspects of front-end web development, mostly CSS. I was also working heavily with WordPress, and was even playing with the idea of focusing more on design, branding, marketing, and the like. The things I wrote about, shared on social media, etc, reflected this, as you would expect it to.

It didn't take much time for me to realize that wasn't the direction for me. I was much more fascinated with the engineering side of creating on the web. As I went further back the other direction, I realized that all this content that I had put online was not an accurate representation of who I considered myself to be anymore.

I was quite at odds with this. I knew I could fix the issue by writing more about what I was focusing on and learning now. I knew it was never a bad idea to acknowledge and recognize where you came from in your journey to get where you are. After all, I wouldn't have known so surely that design/marketing wasn't my forte if I hadn't taken that brief excursion into it in the first place.

Despite knowing these things, I was still driven to remove most (usually all) of that content.

Some combination of feeling I was better now than that content reflected, disliking the infrequency of my postings, and wanting to portray a more accurate version of myself as I am now drove me to take down the posts.

The most recent version of my personal website is a static HTML page with a short bit of information about me. I'm still quite happy with it, thankfully.

I've had many versions of my personal website over the years though. They often began with a single blog post about how I was going to write more (like this one), and varying levels of earnest attempts to regularly post things.

After getting a few posts up and it becoming stagnant for a little while, some anxious thoughts one day would motivate me to take it all down, which is quite a shame.

The decision is always one made out of fear, and unnecessary fear at that. One of the most important lessons I've learned about myself is to be weary of decisions made while suffering from some sort of anxiety.

So here we are again.

As I embark on this writing journey again, I'm recognizing a few things up front:

  • My opinions and viewpoints will change as I learn and acquire new information, and that's a good thing.
  • The benefits of publishing my thoughts and sharing the things I learn far outweigh the potential drawback of exposing that I'm not the smartest person in the world.

Hopefully recognizing (and posting about) these things can keep me writing and keeping things this time, in turn building a larger and more valuable collection of my writing over a longer period of time, instead of deciding I didn't like who/where I was in the past and deleting that piece of me from the internet.

Writing and sharing is a very valuable and rewarding thing to me. I've decided it's time to try and overcome the fears that have held me back from that in the past so I can fully reap the benefits, and hopefully provide some benefit to readers as well.

So here's to learning, sharing, and growing in the open. Wish me luck this time! :)