Out there.

Recently, I read two posts within a few days that both resonated a lot with me. The topic of both pieces was the same: Writing. Or more specifically, writing on your own site. The first piece, “Just write.”, is by Sara Soueidan and if you haven’t read the article, I highly encourage you to do so. Besides the general advice that you should just write, no matter if people read it or not, what stuck in my mind the most were those two short sentences:

Once I got over my own obstacles, I stopped feeling like I was obligated to meet other people’s expectations. I started enjoying writing again.

Over the last two and a half years, I have published a few articles on this site. Most of them were quite lengthy, but I was fine with that, mostly because I cared deeply about the topics and also wanted to explore them for me. The feedback I received for those articles was very positive (thank you all ;) ) and I still feel that starting to write on my own site was one of the best decisions of my life. So if you think about starting to write yourself, I can only join Sara in saying: Just write.

But if you take a look at my site, you’ll see that the last article dates back to January 2018. What happened? Looking back, it was a combination of a few things. One is that I started writing a monthly newsletter about prototyping for the Web, Prototyping.news, which I really enjoy, and another being the feeling that each new article had to be at least as good as the one before. I felt “like I was obligated to meet other people’s expectations” – if only a small but lovely group of people. While this can be a good thing and there is generally nothing wrong with aiming high, it can also have the effect that you start to constantly question yourself and your writing. As a result, the draft of an article about prototyping is still on my computer, waiting to be finished since the beginning of the year.

The second post I wanted to share with you is by Tobias Tom. The post is not an article, it’s a quick note on his site, so short that I can share it in its entirety with you:

Starting today I’ll try again to use this thing more again. More short notes, more links, and even more how-tos.

Why? Because if one word or link helps someone else out there, it’s better then nothing.

I’ll also try to force it into my habit. Starting goal is one post a day. Including the weekends. Phew.

This quick note somehow is like a self-fulfilling prophecy: Even the smallest post can help someone else out there. In this case, this someone is me, seeing that others struggle to publish regularly, too. But no matter what expectations you think there are, it is important to get your thoughts out of your head. Even the rough and unfinished ones. You need to share your experiences because you never know whom it will help.

So starting tonight, you can expect (haha) more posts from me again. Because I now understand that the most important thing about writing – just like with any type of work – is to get it out there.


16 Webmentions

Photo of Calum Ryan
Calum Ryan
"You need to share your experiences because you never know whom it will help." – @m_ott » (https://matthiasott.com/notes/out-there)
Photo of Calum Ryan
Calum Ryan
"You need to share your experiences because you never know whom it will help." – @m_ott » (matthiasott.com/notes/out-there) (calumryan.com/note/1900)
Photo of Alex Cio
Alex Cio
Great challenge! I think writing is a super cool habit for summarizing your thoughts as well as put out information for others. I will soon to start a blog on my website too!
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Out there by @matthiasott https://matthiasott.com/notes/out-there Out there. · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer