Previously, I had been using Middleman to power my personal website. I had also been using Ghost to run a separate blog which has now been merged into this one as of October 2021. Middleman wasn’t the fastest but it was written in Ruby. Thus, I reasoned that I could modify it as I pleased when I needed to. Of course, that time never came and each time I returned to the blog after a few months absence something else seemed broken or slow.
It’s been nearly 2 years, but I’m back writing again. What happened? Well, I cofounded Almanac with some very smart people, and then this year we raised $9m in seed funding. Which was great news, but of course, also the reason I stopped writing. Things are no less busy now, but I would like to share more thoughts, spurred on by so much of what is happening in the world at the moment: racial violence, global pandemic, political polarisation and an increasing intolerance of open discussion.
My Kindle is one of my favourite gifts from my wife. I resisted the idea of an electronic reader for a long time, but after seeing Gina use hers on holiday and at home, my curiosity grew. Besides the convenience, a big selling point for me was highlighting—being able to select and save passages from what I was reading. I rarely read without taking notes, so being able to save and review notes digitally was an irresistible proposition.
When you start writing its natural to obsess over the quality of what you share. You’ve read good writing—and this is not it. Your words look feeble and forced. Better to postpone your noble endeavour until you are worthy. Here’s the underlying belief: these words aren’t good enough to publish, yet. I’ll keep going until they are. Procrastination, recalibration. Here’s the truth: It’s not about the right words; it’s about using your voice.
It’s time to break the tyranny of note-taking apps and blogging platforms: write your online content in a universal language that encourages flow and keeps you focused on the content. When you’re writing for the Internet, you want to be able to save and move your writings around as easily as possible. You don’t want each new app loosing bits of your formatting. After you’ve published your words, you don’t want them locked into that one particular presentation forever, right?
Organising anything with Trello is a joy: Web and mobile versions of Trello mean you can easily edit your projects from anywhere. A lot of writing apps aren’t so portable. Simple to use: intuitive, visual and very low barrier to entry All backed up to The Cloud ☁️ Really easy to drag and drop images into cards, as well as adding checklists It’s freeeeeee You might use Trello to manage projects, weddings, holidays… but a blog?
2021 update: I no longer use Ghost to power this blog! But I still think it’s an outstanding project and that the company are pioneering many practices that should be more widespread. I still frequently recommend it to others. Alas, the nerd in me got hooked on blogging via writing offline and committing changes through git. This blog is now powered by Hugo. Up until now, every time I wanted to start writing I’d expend 97% of my energy thinking about how I could build a blog, which features I want, testing fonts, browsing themes and saving colour schemes.