Having said this, for this reason only, I loved it so much. Surprised? Let me explain.
I am a person with average intelligence. In my student life, I have many of my batchmates, who were more intelligent than me. We used to study together. The teachers gave us problems to solve. And those friends of mine are quicker than me to solve them.
It was an unequal fight. We were friends who never engaged in an unhealthy competition of beating each other. Rather I took inspiration from them and they set a target in front of me. Hard work was the only alternative for me to be at par with them.
Intelligence is something that can not be acquired, people born with it. But thankfully there is something called consistency and patience which are a good alternative to talent. And we can grow these qualities with practice.
I understood that I may not good at something instantly but with the practice for sure. The world used to see only the success and not the hard work put behind it.
We find our own voice with time
Writing takes time to bring the original idea from us. Usually we read good articles and got inspired to write our own. In the initial phase of writing, we unconsciously just reproduce those original articles.
It takes time to find our own voice. When we write for a considerable period, we gradually start to identify our own writing style and thought process. And when it happens the content carries our own unique identity.
Only those blogs get noticed among zillions of other online articles, which has authority on the domain. And authority comes with time and dedication. Like goodwill in the business. No business achieve it overnight.
There may be zillions of article online on the same topic. But we all have our very own perception and point of view to analyze any topic. So, the same topic stands out from the crowd when we put our own thought on it.
Blogging is a marathon race
The marathon race is all about endurance. One, who can run for long, wins the race. The same applies to blogging.
That’s why blogging suits me so well. I do my work during my spare time. At my own comfort while no one noticing it. I pour my heart into it, try to record every idea and thought as they come into my mind.
It is not always I publish everything that I write. Many of them I just saved in draft form. Those are only for my reference for future articles.
Only when I feel any content is worth sharing, can prove helpful to others, I publish them.
During the last two years experience of writing, I have gone through several phases of learning. Made many mistakes and then came to know what was right. These experiences may help you to avoid the same mistakes I committed.
My blog is my digital diary and it has an account of my everyday activity, my achievements and failures.
Over time, blogging has become a part of my routine. I try to manage at least 30 minutes every day.
I may not publish them instantly. They appear to be very insignificant. But when I look back to them, those small things help me to assess my progress, correct my mistakes.
For the last two years, I am building this brick by brick. As I did during my student days. It went very well with my nature. It allows you to work in silence and let your writing speak for you.
When I was just starting it, I just wrote for myself. I knew no one is going to read them accept me; never expected anything from it, only enjoyed the writing itself. This was the reason I hardly miss any opportunity of writing I get during the whole day.
If you are working on your goal, the best option to share your progress is to create your own website. Create a website on that topic, post regular updates on what you are doing. It will help you to track your growth and to get good advice from people with similar interest.
We all have goals in our life and want to work on them. It needs extra work and time to spare in addition to your full-time job. And you need to do this consistently.
I was always eager to do some practical use of my data analytics and data science knowledge. The only way to know the worth of my knowledge is to share them and get feedback.
There is a saying that “if you want to know how useful the knowledge you have, the best way is to try to do business with it.” I did not mean business, my purpose was just to check if I have something useful to share here on this website.
Why a website?
In this regard creating a website is very helpful. The page views, subscriptions and comments on your posts are indicators of your growth.
These indicators will give you a good idea if your work is loved by people. The regular updates, reader counts will give you the feeling that you are progressing, not stagnant and you are not alone here.
Take my own example. For the first few months, I did not have any pageviews. It was frustrating. I tried to provide articles with good content and kept my fingers crossed that situation will change.
The lean phase
The initial days of any new venture are always tough. We are motivated and start with lots of enthusiasm. As days pass, it becomes difficult to continue the momentum. The motivation starts to fade out. Daily life routine and several other liabilities gradually take us away from the goal.
During these initial days, we do not have any sign of growth. No one knows about our work, have no visibility, no one to appreciate. It is like performing in an empty auditorium. Like opening a new shop without any customer.
So, naturally, how can you keep your momentum? How long the initial motivation keeps you going? Not very long. We need some positive signal to let us know that we are going in the right direction.
The page views started to increase gradually. And it was enough to encourage me to put more effort into my blog. I increased my frequency to post articles and the result was evident from even more pageviews and positive comments from my audience.
It was like I am directly interacting with my readers and they are guiding me towards my goal. I still regret I have wasted too much time. I should have created it long before.
The website is kind of your logbook. The effort you put in every day is being recorded here and nothing gets unaccounted for. Day by day, brick by brick you are building your dream here.
All the bits and pieces which may appear insignificant right now can have big cumulative effect. And help you grab big opportunities in future.
If you are still reading this, I hope have convinced you to create your own website. So lets talk about how to create one. You can get many good videos and literatures online with step by step guide. I will rather share my experience here and tell you how I did it without any prior experience.
The year 2020 was very tough for me. The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, locked down in isolation something I will never forget in my life. I will also never forget that this testing time helped me to transform my way of thinking.
Life was going smooth up until the corona pandemic strikes hard the country. I was away from my home, at my place of posting, a small town called Jhansi of Indian state Uttar Pradesh.
Busy in my daily routine, I was not even following the update of the spread of the pandemic and all kinds of speculations around it. Our residential campus was almost insulated from the outside world and we used to live in our own micro-climate.
Of course, there was tension mounting in social media and news channels. But again, it was nothing new in 2020. In the recent past, news of some infectious disease during winter has been a routine in one or other part of India. So, we all were sure that this year also it will get vanished as the temperature rise.
It was around 20th March 2020. My family was away from me in my home town. There was news of lockdown speculating. I was planning to bring them. And then all of sudden the nation-wide lockdown announced.
It was like bolt from the blue for me. Locked inside my campus and has no clue when I will be able to meet my family. I was badly missing my 4 years old twins and worried about aged parents at home.
It was kind of a test for me. When you have no idea of the period of your confinement it seems more traumatic. The same happened to me. As the lockdown periods got extended my restlessness increased.
Writing, the source of positivity
I was looking for something to embrace to overcome this tough time, to calm me down. And guess what helped me? Yes… it was again writing.
I emerged myself even more into writing activities. It was then for the first time changed my blog’s topic. I thought it was best to start writing about my own field.
I have spent a lot of time in data analytics and data science in my career. Published a lot of research articles. But all of them in research journals. Which are so technical that they could not be fathomed by any non-technical person.
I always felt the need for articles that can explain these complex topics in easy language. So the demand and my passion, driven me to start writing on small applications and concepts of data science and analytics.
It was all about writing during the whole period of lockdown. And it made me realize the power of writing even more. As always a trying time teaches you the real values of assets you have.
Without it, I may have spent this valuable time being depressed and tense. Rather I have utilized it to the fullest and it is paying the dividend now. I have learned a lot of things since then in the urge of sharing them with my readers.
Experienced the ages old saying that you learn things better when you share them. Felt exited knowing that my little knowledge is also worth sharing.
The year 2020 and lockdown introduced me to my audience which otherwise perhaps remain unknown to me forever.
This may sound completely ridiculous to the pro-typists writing more than 100 words per minute or more. But believe me, I achieved this with more than one year of struggle. Yes, I am a slow learner. So I consider it as a success and let me celebrate it 🙂
Typing speed was one of the main hurdles when I started blogging almost one and a half year back. It took hours to type only a few pages. Could not type without seeing the keyboard and used my two fingers only.
Slow typing was not allowing me to complete my target set for each day. It was frustrating. Consequently, to fix the problem I started to find shortcuts. Tried Google “Speech to text” feature for several days.
The first time I came to know about this feature in Google docs, I was really excited and thought it will make my writing easier. But very soon I found that my English accent is horrible and Google fails to understand almost 80% of the words I pronounce.
Realized that short cuts would not work and I need to learn touch typing if I want to continue with my blogging. I have given it a try earlier also. But it needs a lot of practice and patience in the start. So, on every occasion, the lazy me win over and stopped me from continuing the learning.
But this time situation was different and I was determined. I started learning touch typing in March 2021. I followed several blogs and youtube videos to know the basics of touch typing. But finally, it was all about practice, a lot of practice.
This was the time when Corona just started to gain momentum in India. The Corona terror, lockdown for several weeks were like blessings in disguise for me. I got ample time to practice my new typing skill and improve it. Also, focus on my writing skills.
Today, after exactly one year, my writing speed stands around 54 words per minute. Which is not that bad for an amateur. Below is the screenshot of typing speed test from 10fastfingers.com.
From this day I am starting this new category, where I will update more frequently about what I am working on or any significant thing I learnt recently.
Usually, I post one article weekly with some new application in data science or data analytics. Sometimes if the topic is lengthy or critical, it needs more time.
Often during a busy week where I got little time doing research on a new topic. In such a situation when I missed the Monday evening (usually I post my new blog every Monday evening) it feels very bad. It’s like failing to some commitment made to myself.
So I have decided to post more frequently. Not only on some final product but also to discuss the process, new things learned and mistakes made. Thus it will be like working in front of you sharing each days’ progress.
Sharing the failures are important
I have noticed that the learning process itself is worth sharing with my readers. Since I have started writing online, I used to write articles that solely focused on the topic and the targeted problem. It is a refined product carefully editing mistakes made by me while learning it.
I had the impression that discussing mistakes will be embarrassing. But now I realise that I should write about those mistakes too. In fact, these can be more helpful for those who are also going through the learning process.
Hence this new category “What I am working on?” under the parent category “Life lessons“. The technical article will continue as such and I will try to update you each Monday. But I will update you more frequently about my work and learning process.
Again the inspiration behind starting this more frequent update is “Show your work” by Austin Kleon. It’s really such a nice book. I would like to mention it in every post.
It truly mentioned that sharing your work more frequently is actually a process of getting more clear about your idea. And through frequent update about my progress, I can actually track my progress over time.
So here a quick and brief update on my recent work. I am writing a detailed article on using Power BI for forecasting. Forecasting is an important tool that helps us to predict the future based on historical data.
I used to use R or Python for forecasting but recently got familiar with the forecasting tool provided with the Power BI desktop. So thought about applying on a time series data I have.
Soon there will be a post on this topic.
Except this, reading several books and listening audio versions as usual.
Taking notes can enhance your productivity manifold. Random thoughts and ideas come to our mind during our leisure time. When our mind is stress-free. These are very unique and reflects one’s very own creativity.
If we don’t note them down fresh, they get dumped. So, we need to note them down right then and there. It can act as our extended brain as our brain has limited capacity and makes space for new things deleting the old ones.
Notes thus collected regularly on different experiences of our life works as a resource when you actually in a mood of writing. In my article “Why should you start writing on the internet” I have mentioned how writing can improve our life. Taking notes is also an integral part of this whole writing process.
I recently listened to a youtube video of David Perell where he has explained its importance in his unique style. It was really a nice presentation and moved me so much. No doubt he is a productivity Guru.
Take notes like Kendrick
In this video, he explained the importance of taking notes and how it can help your thought process while writing. He gave the example of famous American rapper Kendrick Lamar.
He is just 33 years old and has won the Grammy Award for the best rap album. He is regarded as the most influential artist of his generation. Kendrick developed the habit of taking notes of everything he observed, memorable lines as well as his opinion since he was 7 years old.
In the later part of his life, this habit helped him a lot in composing his iconic songs. Creative writings are not some struggle done sitting continuously for hours.
Creative ideas come spontaneously in our mind. You can not force it or time it to write them down as you wish.
We can capture our idea by taking notes on paper, computer, capture video or audio, any form you wish. We are in the age where we are carrying a multimedia studio in our pocket i.e. our smartphone. You just need to use them appropriately.
If you are not able to generate idea instantly, just note down a vivid description of any event. It may help you get content ideas later and you can pick useful pieces.
Use Twitter to improve your writing
I have recently opened my Twitter account. Although I have my Facebook page too, I rarely use it. The only active social networking platform I use is Twitter. It is the most preferred hunting ground for writers.
Here I can have honest review/feedback on your twit. I try regularly to post updates on my content and help a lot to improve my writing.
It matters most whom you are following, otherwise, you will be brainwashed with irrelevant content only. I carefully select people with the same interest and follow their twits to curate mine.
As learned people say “want to be a good writer? Read the great writers”. Try to write engaging twits which is either useful or entertaining for the readers.
Regarding composing twits again David Perell has some suggestions, which I would also like to follow:
Write compressed twits. Your idea should be accommodated within a twit length.
Clarity and simplicity are important. Twit is different from books, your readers will skip it while browsing if it is not easy to understand.
Clickable content (hashtags) should not be more than one. And that one also if very essential
There should be some clear message. Be aware not to self promote rather invent yourself through it.
Writing on the internet has multiple benefits. It can bring opportunities you have never imagined. Here I am going to share my experience as a data science blogger for the last few years. And try my best to explain the perceived positive changes which may make you realize why should you also take the plunge.
My purpose was to document different skills I have learned or still learning in this field. There was a sequence of events that motivated me to start this blog. Among which a book played a very important role.
I have been an avid reader. One of my favourite books is “Show your work” by Austine Kleon. Some advice, suggestions from this book made a lazy person like me inspired enough to take writing seriously.
I should have written down all those motivating thoughts which helped me take one of the biggest decision of my life. But I was not confident enough about expressing myself at that time.
Two years down the line, with a fair amount of experience of blogging, I am finally writing this. Anytime if I feel out of focus, this would keep me motivated.
From now on I am including another category named “Life Lessons” in my blog. Where I would write on several life lessons I gathered since I started this journey.
It has given me so much, changed my life so much during this last one & half year. As a writer, you may achieve many accolades, in the long run. But you can notice small changes this habit brings in your life when you are consistent enough.
So not only the destination, the journey itself is so much rewarding. Enjoy the journey and don’t focus so much on the destination. Smell the roses, talk to the strangers in your journey.
In Brandon Sanderson’s language, there is ” life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination”.
Gives shape to your thoughts
I think the most important thing we achieve while we write about our own ideas is we get clarity on them. Many times ideas just appear in our mind and then just vanish.
Ideas are spontaneous. These are the most valuable assets and the most original things we own. They are abstract in nature and we tend to ignore them.
We should grow the habit of writing them down. In this process, we start discussing it with ourselves. And the idea starts to take shape. What was just a spark in the mind and volatile in nature becomes a concrete concept.
Such an idea when documented after thorough research, they become unique articles. Articles that contain some genuinely helpful/entertaining content for the readers.
Building connection with like minded people
When you put your content on the internet it starts speaking on behalf of you. Which means pesonally you may be an introvert person and have a very limited network. In that case, the best way to promote your ideas to put them on the internet.
The Internet has no barrier, no boundary for countries and reaches every corner of the world. When your ideas start to reach such a vast audience, the opportunities are endless.
The immediate benefit may be people with same interest start to contact you. You can cosider it as the first stepping stone of your online venture. This may be a baby step towards your goal but has immense potential.
Without online publishing your content you may never come to know that there are so many people who also think like you.
Consider it as your online resume
Imagine the situation if you are a job seeker and your employer already knows about your expertise from your blog. You have already put all of your learning at one place and for a student it can help him to acquire first project from his/her dream organization.
Those days are gone when you need to wait for your final product and then only you let the world know about your creation. In this age of Internet and social network platforms, you can even showcase the process of your creation.
People are continuously writing on internet posting every bits and pieces of the process, the tool they use, rough work even unfinished product and failed product.
The purpose is you are building a group of followers. They are organic and have a genuine interest in what you are doing. Anytime in life, you want to make your passion your profession, you already have a target audience.
Make your everyday count
Write at least few lines everyday. It will bring a feeling of being productive. You have not wasted that day and have done something towards your growth.
So whenever you get some time, sit before your computer, collect your thoughts and write them down. Our lazy part of mind will resist you saying it is not worth your time. Ask yourself is there anything more worthy to do?
Give at least half an hour everyday. It may appear insignificant at first. But consider it baby steps towards your goal. Single strokes of brush gradually complete the whole painting.
Get over the stupid excuses
There are several mental blocks that resist us while we start writing on the internet for the first time. I have also wasted a lot of time over these obstacles which now I understand as very stupid.
What will other think?
This is the most regressive thing that keeps us behind in every walks of our lives. Many of us will say that we don’t bother about what others think but still has this fear subconsciously.
And believe me, no one cares. Yes, you read it right, no one cares what you are writing there. Take my example here. I am writing for more than one year now and really no one has nothing to do with it.
It only interests those who are also interested in the topic of data science, search it on the internet and reaches my website. They even contact me and we share topics of shared interest.
I am not an expert of anything!
This fear is also baseless. You dont have to be an expert. You can share experince of learning anything and even the mistakes you made while learning anything.
Always remember a beginner can always guide another beginner sharing their experiences. When anyone becomes an expert on anything he forgets the struggle he faced at the initial stage. And thus his advice usually can not guide someone who just started.
A word of caution here, dont try to pretend being an expert. It is a big mistake many times a beginner commits. Readers can easily find out such writing not to be genuine.
Which topic should I write?
Another big hurdle while starting to write on the internet. Here I would like to mention the comment made by famous writer David Perell.
He makes choosing the topic for your writing very easy. Don’t try to find out a topic that interests others rather pick the topic which simply interests you.
In this way, you will never run out of content ideas. You will also continue to learn new things to improve your expertise on your favourite topic.
Try to develop your own concept on the topic. Then explain it in your own language including your ideas. Thus your writing will be your intellectual property and unique.
I am not good at English!
English is the language you can reach the maximum number of readers with. But not everyone there is a native English speaker. And that is why this fear is genuine.
But the good thing is you don’t need to be very good at English writing. Just good enough to express yourself. No one cares if you have made small grammatical mistakes in doing so.
I am not yet fluent in speaking English. But does that matter much? Are you not able to understand what I want to convey here? I may have made several grammatical mistakes and incorrect use of words but I think I still have managed to explain myself.
Thats all you need to do while you just start writing. And regular practice will do the rest. You can easily find the difference between this article and those I have written in 2019.
So don’t let this fear bog you down or resist you taking the first step.
Finally, enjoy the journey of writing on the internet
Your goal may be endless and you want to achieve many things. But when you are just starting, dont think much about your final goals. It may bring frustration. As at initial stages you may not notice any significant things happening and still you need to continue your activity.
So rather you should enjoy the journey of creativity and learning new things. Writing online is a productive thing. And when you continue with this activity you are growing numerous good habits.
Like you are growing the habit of learning new things. You need to research some topic before you write a convincing article on it. And in this process, you acquire a good knowledge of the topic.
Life becomes stagnant when someone stops improving himself. You start to learn new things and soon you realize how much is there yet to learn. You regret the time wasted doing unproductive things.
Since I have started writing on the internet, the single big change happened is I have become way more productive than I was before.
And among the small things, many skills I acquired to improve my content quality. I am now managing my time more effectively. I am more focused and always eager to learn new things.
Usually, we lose interest in upgrading ourselves as there is no one to appreciate it. Writing on the internet removes this barrier and brings you a global audience. And suddenly you have a good purpose to enrich your knowledge.
I hope that I have put enough points to convince you to start writing on the internet. Believe me, there are a lot more which I am not able to put here perhaps for lack of expression. I will continue to update this post as and when I am able to put them into words.
If you find this article helpful, let me know. It will certainly encourage me to bring more topics like this. I will look for your comments and ideas regarding the post.