So, this happened: The last post I published marked 16 weeks of continuous blogging. I reached the longest writing streak Dev has badges for.
In this blog post, I celebrate this accomplishment a little. I will go over some numbers, achievements, and lessons learned from the past 16 weeks.
How did it all begin? Well, I've had blogs for different things during my life. Maybe my longest project was a knitting-themed blog I kept with my friend when I was in university. However, when I made my career change after graduating from the university, I never thought I'd be competent enough to write tech-themed blog posts.
Come fall 2020, I had started believing myself. I already had a plan to write that first technical blog post... sometime in the future. There was still this wall of fear which kept me from actually publishing that first blog post.
Ok, I had written submission to Github Actions Hackathon here on Dev and a post for the 2020's #shecoded-event. I wanted to write something that felt like my own thing, so that's why they didn't really count for me.
After Hacktoberfest, my friend and colleague Senja started a support group for blogging in Level Up Koodarit, a (Finnish) Slack community for women and other gender minorities in tech. That group gave me enough support and courage to write that first blog post and just the right amount of pressure for the following ones.
Another thing that kept me going was the joy of writing and someone reading my posts. Also, the gamified aspect here in Dev got me - when I had a moment of laziness, I thought about the next badge I could achieve, which gave me enough motivation to finish the writing.
Well, the first thing to mention about what I've learned is that I have something to say. The feedback I've gotten has been fantastic. The fear that nobody would read my posts was one thing that held me back, but these weeks have proven it wrong.
Also, writing in a non-native language has been something I've been a bit afraid of. Can I actually express my thoughts in the way I want? Can I write in a readable and not too monotonic way? I think I've accomplished this. I mean, English is still not my native language, but I think I've communicated my thoughts pretty well in it :)
The third thing I want to mention here is something I've come across multiple tips-posts about blogging: Consistency is the key. As mentioned before, the gamified aspect of blogging consistently at least once a week helped me. It was also easier to put together a full blog post when I was doing it every week. Sometimes I've even written a couple of lines every day.
There are some things I've reached during these past 16 weeks. The ones I'm discussing here are easy to measure, so they're also more straightforward to put into words. I feel like I've achieved many other things, too, from self-confidence to getting more comfortable with writing.
Three of my posts made to the Dev's week's top 7-list.
The first of three was "Ode to Semantic HTML," a post about, well, semantic HTML. It was about the fifth post I wrote. I had had this idea (and name) in the back of my head for a while. I was super happy that the post got this honor.
It also got to the University of Minnesota Duluth Webdev Newsletter, which I am super proud of.
The second post to make it to the top 7 was my post about reducing motion. I wrote about my own experience on why I need reduced movement and how that can be achieved on the web.
The third one to make to the top 7 posts was about how I published my first npm-package from a loading spinner I created for my live coding session.
Another thing I'm pleased about is that the Ode to Semantic HTML got the week's most beloved #a11y-post badge. Accessibility is a topic I'm passionate about and trying to learn more about, and getting this badge was something I had dreamed of.
During these 16 weeks, I've got about 16000 views for my posts, almost 800 reactions, and 1000-ish followers. Because of Dev's system of not showing the numbers for others to see (which I love, by the way), I can't say if this is a lot or not.
However, for me, it feels a lot. There have been people who have been interested in reading my posts. They also have either liked, really liked, and/or bookmarked my posts.
So, I've reached a milestone. What's next? Well, first of all, I intend to keep on blogging every week. Now that I'm not trying to reach an official badge, I might take a week off here and there, but my goal is to keep going.
Another thing I've been thinking about is to start a blog about accessibility in Finnish. I can see that there could be a need for one. I'd also like to try how writing in my native language would work. But you know, as I'm a web developer, I need to build that blog first. So publishing the first post will take some time.
If we talk a bit about wild ideas, one thing I've been dreaming of is writing an ebook. I've been thinking about this for a while now, but the recent Ladybug podcast episode on writing ebooks made me consider it again. So, maybe one day in the future, I'll write an ebook. That would be awesome.