Lamenting poor writing

:: writing

I have not faithfully written in this blog. A large part of that is that I have struggled to set aside time to write. There are many blog posts that I want to write. But it takes so long to write and edit a good blog post. You may notice that so far I have no good blog posts — they are all poorly written. This happens because I start writing, run out of time for the day, and then have a decision: I can either publish a post as it is, poorly planned, hastily written, and generally rough, or I can wait until I edit it. Every post in my blog so far is the result of a decision to post something rough rather than to wait until I eventually edit it. For every blog post that I have published, there is another that I started but left languishing. For every blog post awaiting edition, there is another that I wanted to write but decided not to even start because I knew I wouldn’t edit it. The key takeaway: I never come back to edit. After one bout of writing, I am out of steam.

I do not write well. When I look at my old posts I know I had worthwhile things to say, but those things were poorly communicated. I’m frankly embarassed by my poor writing. However, I want to write, and I want that writing to communicate clearly and effectively. Moreover, I am in a field where it is imperative that I write well.

So… I am going to push myself to practice more by writing more diligently, more regularly, and more purposefully. In particular, I am going to try to edit more faithfully. My posts will probably still come slowly if they are to be any good, but my hope is that my writing practice will additionally yield posts that are worth a reader’s time.

Join me in the future for exciting blog posts that I have started (and given up on because they would take hours to edit) or wanted to write (and given up on because they would take hours to edit). Potential topics include:

  • I recently switched to NixOS. I have written before about package managers, and mentioned Nix and Guix as potentially fulfilling many of my desired criteria. They do! But they also frustrate… Why did I choose NixOS, and will I decide to switch to GuixSD? What would I change about them? Find out on our next dramatic episode of the willghatch blog!
  • De-Googling. I’ve been mostly de-Googled for at least a couple of years now. There are many posts about de-Googling, so I may decide I have nothing to add.
  • I recently started getting my internet service through Google Fiber! So much for de-Googling! It is interesting to be a paying customer rather than just a product for Google. I was incredibly excited to get fiber internet and have an upload rate higher than 5Mbps. I was also incredibly frustrated and disappointed by certain aspects once I started the service. Since I’ve otherwise de-Googled, I obviously have thoughts about Google getting into the ISP space.
  • Related to ISPs, why is it so hard to set up and run important services for yourself, such as data backup, contact and calendar synchronization, federated communication like email, Jabber, and Matrix, and sending/receiving/sharing files? Where do I think solutions live?
  • Instant messaging, Matrix and Riot, and Marco Polo. I’ve written a little about this before.
  • Google’s new operating system/kernel Magenta/Fuschia/whatever, and the looming death of Linux, or more importantly, GPL-licensed kernels, in the mobile space, and with it the destruction of even the little user freedom that we have scratched out in the mobile computing world. But hark! Is there new hope in the Librem 5, EOMA68, and RISC-V?
  • Phones as laptop replacements. I keep trying to make this work for myself, and it keeps being a disappointment. There are a few logistical reasons and several technical reasons (largely due to proprietary nonsense). What gaps are there and how can they be filled?
  • Centralized social media (Facebook and friends) vs decentralized social media. Pros and cons. They both have problems, but I think most discussions miss a few important points.
  • Tal vez escribiré en español también? Hace tiempo hablaba bastante bien el español (menos el acento), y era orgulloso de me habilidad de hablar y entender con mucha fluidez y rapidez, y de poder traducir en vivo mientras algien hablara. Pero hace casi diez años, volví de México y dejé casi por completo de practicar. Cada año empeoro, y me da mas y mas vergüenza practicar. Ya basta. Voy a practicar.
  • As a PhD student doing programming language research, you might expect me to post about programming languages. Perhaps I will.