Hi there friend 👋
This issue came out a little bit later than I'd have liked to as I was preparing a move and interviewing throughout March and April. However, despite being so busy, I still got reminded of a pretty big milestone recently: It's been one year that I started to learn, write and build in public!
1 year ago today, @MaximeHeckel laid out the list of things he wanted to learn in public. Over the past year he's been slowly crossing things off: https://t.co/bnhxOShtZv— swyx 🐣 (@swyx) April 21, 2021
This is amazing! People often tag me when they start, but the point is to KEEP GOING. Love to see it 👏 https://t.co/0OxN5J9v0A pic.twitter.com/6knKsmB8oB
While it was not the easiest thing for me to do, I still managed to follow the plan I laid out back in April of 2020, and even exceed what I originally hoped to accomplish. At the center of this "Learning in public" plan was content creation: being public about what I learned helped me to come up with a lot of new blog posts in a year, improve my writing skills and also build a pretty big audience (at least big to me) of some of the most awesome people on the internet (and yes that includes you! 🤗).
Thus I wanted to dedicate this issue to giving you a look behind the scenes at my writing process, how I come up with ideas and share them when it comes to producing content/blog posts.
This part was always hard for me, however, the good thing when learning or building in public is that the ideas flow naturally. In my case, they fell mainly into 2 categories:
To simply put it: this is the category where I share what I set myself to learn. I gave myself the objective last year to learn SwiftUI and Framer Motion, after sharing my process and the milestones I reached on Twitter, I was able to come up with a few blog post ideas to summarize what I learned. For those, I always tried to come up with some more subjective/personal take on my learning experience:
Two completely separated topics I learned independently from one another might make sense to connect to solve a very specific problem. These two topics might already have an article or a series of articles about them, but summarizing them with my voice and point of view might make it easier for the next person who has that same problem.
An example for this category would be my blog post about generating screenshot of my code snippet with serverless, which describes 2 distinct problems to solve:
One could learn about both solutions to these problems separately, however, if a developer has this specific problem to solve (a serverless function that takes a screenshot of a webpage), my blog post is a one-stop-shop!
Although having ideas is great, sometimes it's not enough. To find out whether a full blog post can stem from an idea, I need to find an answer for the following questions:
If I can feel confident that a specific idea answers all those questions, I then try to come up with a layout and a series of bullet points of subjects I want to tackle in that upcoming blog post. From this point on, I'm confident about my subject and can start writing.
This is the key to my writing process and to get my audience interested in what I'm doing: I share bits and pieces of my blog post continuously while it's being written, or snippets of code of whatever I'm building. It was a great way for me for 3 reasons:
I sometimes got more engagement on tweets showcasing my process than the final product and I continuously see that on Twitter, from writing a blog post to building a company: people simply love the transparency and the process, and the more you share about it the more likely they will connect/engage with you and like what you come up with.
Although I've accomplished a lot in a year, I do not plan on stopping! I have many things in progress and also lots of upcoming ideas:
That's it for this one! As always, don't hesitate to reply to this email to give me feedback or if you have questions about some aspect of my writing process I may have not touched upon in this newsletter.
Until the next one, have a wonderful day!
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Want to check out other topics I wrote about? There's a lot of great content waiting for you on my blog 👉 blog.maximeheckel.com