Bash Bootcamp: Week 2 & 3

This post is part of a series. The series documents my weekly progress in launching the Bash Bootcamp eBook. You can read the previous post to get caught up.

Week two and three have been more difficult than I expected. They have not gone according to plan due to a combination of my personal life and full time job. There is only so much time in the day, and more importantly each person has a fixed energy capacity. I did not expect how difficult it would be to find the energy to work on Bash Bootcamp every day. If anything the last two weeks have been lesson in just how easy it is to tire yourself out.

The plan was to commit two hours Monday to Friday in the morning before going to work. This has not worked for a few reasons.

  • I’m a natural night owl. My most productive and mentally active hours are from ~20:00–02:00 so I generally tend to stay awake until later — which doesn’t help with starting the day early.
  • Long days at my full time job push my eventual free time back. I tend to start work around 10:00 and shoot of getting out the door at 18:00. There have been days where I’m there until 19:00 or 20:00. Then by the time I get back to my place, eat, decompress a bit, it’s already 22:00 or 23:00. There is no time/energy left at that point in the day.
  • Intense technical work days. Technical writing is enjoyable for me but it requires I have some energy in the tank for technical work. Let’s say I spend most of my day at work training others or writing code for my team’s deliverables. That exhausts my resources on technical work. I’ve learned is impossible for me to spend a significant majority of my day only doing technical work.

I’m not sure if there’s a way out here — being more disciplined is not a complete solution. I need a more effective distribution of work, personal life, and project energies because it’s certainly not working right now. I’m already behind according to my 90 day plan.

I realized I haven’t had the energy to spend hours at time doing technical writing. There has been energy to tackle smaller and useful things to launch Bash Bootcamp. Here’s a rundown.

  • Had a new cover made on Fiverr that I’m quite happy with it.
  • Restyle and shorten some of the landing content. It’s a small improvement to hopefully increase conversions.
  • Wrote draft of a “Continuous Deployment with Docker, Ansible, and ElasticBeanstalk” for the Semaphore CI blog. The audience is much larger than my personal tech blog or the slashdeploy blog. This post should drive my traffic to either of those sources and hopefully to the landing page. Second, it starts a recurring relationship with SemaphoreCI so that I can queue up a post for my launch date (part of the 90 day plan)
  • Contacted the CodeShip editors about a post on Bash. They’re interested so this falls inline with the general “find guest post opportunities” goal for the early stages.
  • Learn a lot in my full time job! “Variables” is current work-in-progress chapter. I happened to get a lot of on the job experience dealing with Bash arrays and other variable types that will certainly help me in crafting a better chapter. My job also requires me to educate and train other engineers so some of it is practically a dry run for the intended audience.
  • Get a copywriter pipeline going. I’m not happy with my conversion rate. It’s sitting at 0.5%. I know that working with professional will improve those numbers. They will also help me refine my target audience (which is something I’m still working on myself) and learn how to speak to them. Hopefully the landing page copy will be updated within a week. I plan to enlist professional assistance for the real landing page and some key emails to my existing email list.
  • Queue up tweets in Buffer. Twitter is my best marketing channel right now. Buffer allows me to spread the tweets out and ensure that I can always share relevant content with my audience.

The next steps are:

  1. Lock in copy writer to update landing page
  2. Send a launch email to my email list
  3. Publish a launch blog post
  4. Continue to setup guest post relationships
  5. Contact podcasts on potential guest appearances
  6. Write the damn book!
  7. Get a Fiverr cover for the freebie

Here’s to more energy and getting things back on track! See you in a week or so.