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.
I have started this website “Data Science with Deb” almost one and a half year ago out of my love for Data Science. I have written a number of articles on different topics of machine learning, deep learning in Data Science, Analytics etc. since then.
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.
This is what mentioned by Austin Kleon in his book “Show Your Work“. It is just writing diaries in earlier days. And if you notice it was a hobby of and consistently done by many famous people. The “Kheror Khata” of the Maestro Satyajit Ray is a good example of taking random notes. That diary is now part of the National Digital Library developed by IIT, Kharagpur.
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.