Random musings

Why writing blog posts can be as difficult as shipping software

First you have the inspiration phase – you’ve got this great idea, so many thoughts on the topic and you can’t wait to write it all down. This will be the greatest blog post ever!

Then you have the implementation phase where you start writing madly. You probably get about halfway, maybe three quarters of the way through and then you stop. You’re pretty pleased with how it’s started, but how do you finish it?

Then comes the scope creep. You see a few points that you’d like to expand. Suddenly you’re putting mini blog posts within your blog post. But you don’t want to just save the expanded points for a separate post because you figure if you don’t write them now, then you probably never will.

Now that you’ve expanded some of the points, you wonder if you should be expanding all of your other points, for balance. It all starts to seem like too much work, and you haven’t even wrapped up your post yet.

Then there’s the quality assessment phase. At this point you’ve probably left it for a few days and decided to re-read it, hoping to recapture that inspiration that will let you finish it. But the initial inspiration and motivation has worn off somewhat, and you’re starting to dislike what you’ve written. You consider rewriting part of it, or all of it. Or maybe scrapping the thing all together and starting on something new.

If you’re lucky there will be a release phase after this, which often can seem like a bit of a death march. You’re struggling to find any words to summarise your once-great blog post, but everything you write seems corny or contrived. Eventually you declare it “good enough”, whack it online and hope for the best. You’re probably still thinking about the parts you wish you could have done better.

And then most of your readers will skim it, get the general gist, and probably even like it. A couple of typos might be reported here and there, big deal. What were you so worried about?

4 thoughts on “Why writing blog posts can be as difficult as shipping software

  1. Nice!

    I can see a follow-up post -> the post-release phase.

    What about the maintenance phase – handling the comments – some genuine, some spam and some just confused!

  2. Yes, the maintenance phase! Also replying to the comments, sometimes with some of the lengthier or insightful comments that can almost be like releasing a patch.

  3. Trish, I am just starting to blog on software test and I stumbled upon your blog. Wow – you really captured the process :)
    Now where can I file the bugs?

    Interesting stuff – keep it up.

    Regards,
    Sean Morley (no relation to that Simon guy above (I think))

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