I've kept up a post per week as a goal for 2022 and I found it hard sometimes to have a post ready. At the time of writing this, 2022 is winding down and I'd like to go over what kept me going on weekly posts and where the inspiration came from so that hopefully you, dear reader, can find inspiration for yourself.
These to me are projects that have taken a few weeks or months of spare time to come together and often end in a fun post talking about the journey. But we can squeeze this for way more than just a final post: each bit of stumbling, learning, or hard to find information along the way can be a post too.
Let's look at my project: Brotherman Bill, a Discord music and meme bot. From that we get the main post:
Then all the leadup:
- Installing Raspberry Pi OS on an SD Card for a Raspberry Pi
- How to Run a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Headless
- Installing Java 16 on a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W
- Running Lavalink on a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W
- Installing .NET 6 on a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W
- Creating an Autostart .NET 6 Service on a Raspberry Pi
- Continuous Deployment From Github to a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W With Azure DevOps
So that's about 8 setup + 1 final post for one project, not bad!
But how to even decide on a big project? Sure a process to write on topics while making a project is fine, but you have to have the project first.
My main project inspiration points are:
- Following tech accounts on Twitter then seeing cool retweets of niche projects and thinking "I want to try doing that". E.g. Shrinking a Self-Contained .NET 6 Wordle-Clone Executable
- Thinking what things I'm into and how to create a project around it E.g. all the Pokémon posts
- A previous project
A Previous Project
You've just finished a project. It had so many interesting tidbits you had to leave behind. While some of those ideas/concepts have to be left behind, it doesn't mean they stay that way. Sure you can't hold all the neat ideas, but you can always go back.
If you're like me, you'll constantly run into trouble thinking "I can't carry this idea/concept, should I put this other thing back so I can pick this up?" That's how I feel when going through a big project.
When going through a big project there's always leftover interesting leads, ideas, experiments that don't make the final cut. And it's this list that be explored as stand alone posts.
Money (AKA Buy Something to Talk About)
Maybe you purchase something that will help out at home, help out with your projects, or just a thing you like. Bu virtue of having a thing, you can write about your experience with it.
Examples of this for me is:
- Brotherman Bill again. I really wanted to use a Pi Zero 2 W for a project
- Similar to this is all the Pokémon games I bought. Yes they were for a big project, but I had to buy them and I could talk about them
- My Roomba. I bought it as a treat for myself and thought it would make a good post in case anyone else wanted to see how the first six months went
- Then in the future, I'm looking to write about the Analogue Pocket, and Everdrive flashcarts for GB/GBA
On a similar note, an item bought can both be part of a project and project writeup, but simply reviewing it works too. What your experience is, how you feel about it, and anything you wish you knew beforehand, or want to tell others.
Keeping Current With Technology
Software moves quickly and I don't always have the time to keep up with even the things I want to be on top of. But a post is a great excuse to push some time aside to learn it.
An example for me is Ahead of Time Compilation (AOT). .NET 6+ kicked off some new and great AOT work and I wanted to make sure I was at least across it. About three posts spawned out from this:
- .NET 7 Self-Contained, NativeAOT, and ReadyToRun Cheatsheet
- .NET Deployment Models and Features With Examples
- .NET AOT Resources: 2022 Edition
Post from my blogging experience. I've run into things that I think might be helpful for others, such as how to do ads on a Ghost blog.
Or how I've begun to ad animated headers:
I also have posts which I write just for me:
Any Useful Notes
Think like a public OneNote or Evernote. These can be notes for others, but at least in my case, they're notes for me to look up again easily.
A few examples here:
- Combining PDF documents using iText7 and C#
- How Do I Get .NET Preview Versions in GitHub Actions?
- How to Natively Read .tgz Files With the New C# TarReader Class
I'm hoping that one day I write enough posts that I'll search for a question and the answer will be a post from my site. Maybe this post 🤔
Or as Ardalis points out:
Things I’m Passionate About (Not in My Industry)
Again, this blog is heavily skewed to software development however I'm more than that. I have my own likes and interests that aren't to do with writing code. One day I want to write about some of my favourite recipes (as a useful note), review some books and games, or anything else that interests me at the time.
Some examples from me are:
A post a week has been a fantastic experience and only when writing this very post did I realise how many places I get inspiration from to write these posts. I hope you found this useful and found ideas for where to find your own inspiration.