New Year, New Blog
2017 is a brand new year that has ushered in a number of exciting changes for me: the end of formalized education (at least for the foreseeable future), a new job, a new city, and this very blog!
This isn’t the first time I’m starting a blog. In fact, in looking back at my very first blog post, I realized that my inaugural post there has the same unoriginal title to this very post (Great minds, think alike…but so does the same mind two years apart). In any case, a few things have inspired me to start blogging here on Medium:
- Reflection -> Expression. Because my old Ghost blog was only an extension of my personal website, it started to become more of a reflective outlet to capture turning points or decision points in my life rather than an outward-facing platform for expression. Any readers that happened on my blog either came directly from my site or because something had come up in conversation that was relevant to a blog post I had already posted. Without being connected to a larger network, I’ve always wondered what it would be like for someone to get to know me through my writing before meeting me in person. I hope that writing in a more public manner will cause me to be more accountable to my writing goals and shift my writing style to be less reflective and more expressive.
- Maintenance. As awesome as Ghost is as an open-source blogging platform, it’s been nontrivial to maintain it since I opted for a somewhat fragile vanilla setup that avoided the cost and effort of hosting my own Ghost server. I’ve had to resort to some sketchy migrations of
*.dbfiles and my latest struggles with odd version control issues have proven to me that my will to write has outlasted my will to maintain a custom blogging engine.
- Stats + highlights. I’ve always been curious to know what people find interesting when reading my blog posts, but a lack of tooling and analytics on my old blog has prevented me from getting a quantitive or qualitative view of my writing unless people mention it to me in-person.
Rereading this quote from Julie Zhou has inspired me to make a more explicit habit of writing at least once every two weeks:
Write about the lessons now so familiar they can be recited in your sleep. Write about the insights not yet sighted, their silhouettes blurry like the edges of a distant shore. Write about the job, the joy and chaos of designing and building.Write at least once a week. Write to learn how to write, and write to understand, the process itself like a looking glass through which you may yet discover a strange new world. Write so something meaningful can be said to others. Write to be accountable, write with honesty. Above all, write to preserve the scrap of an age, a voice; write so you won’t forget.
… and I’m taking her three practical tips on writing to heart by committing myself to do this for a year in order to develop a real habit of writing and expression. Along the way, I hope to flesh out my personal perspective and voice on matters at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and product along with my musings on faith, purpose, and life/world events.
So here goes — to a new year, a new blog, and a new set of thoughts/stories/ideas!
Taking the opportunity for reflection, here are few posts from my old blog that I really enjoyed writing:
- A Year in Review: a reflection on a set of goals for my last year as an undergrad
- Urbana 2015: a testimony from my experiences at Urbana 2015
- Why KA: a few reasons why I decided to join Khan Academy as a summer 2015 intern
- Lessons from InterVarsity Marketplace: a collection of thoughts from an InterVarsity program focused on the intersection of work + faith