“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” - Samuel Beckett
I’ve had a blog of some sort for more than a decade. I started on Userland. I’ve been through most blogging platforms in the .NET space. At some point I started to want to do things my own way, to customize the look, feel, and process of blogging. It culminated in my own attempt at a blog engine.
I learned the hard way that half-hearted attempts at blog engines are not only a road to failure, they also mean that every time I had the thought of making a post I’d run into some quirk of my software and be distracted enough to lose the motivation to post. But I never quite got into solving the blogging platform problems because I had other, more interesting projects I wanted to work on.
But as the world changes around me, as blogs get gobbled up by tweets and tweets get gobbled up by shares, I miss the slower way of doing things. I miss the long blog posts that mean more than a five second scan or a referral link to click.
I’m not only missing out as a consumer, I’m missing out as a producer. I’ve been reading Power Up Your Mind and one thing that stuck with me is that teaching another person is a great way to really learn something. On one of my old blogs, Metadeveloper, I spent a lot of time writing at length in technical terms. Not only did my long posts help me understand the things I was explaining in more detail, but over and over I’d find myself searching my own blog for a solved problem I’d documented.
So here is where I try again. No more tinkering with my own blogging software, on this attempt I will use BlogEngine.net and apart from styling and theming, I will keep my tweaks to a minimum. Instead of trying to partition my posts for nontechnical friends and fellow programmers, this is just going to be whatever is on my mind, whatever I’m exploring, or wherever I’m finding some inspiration.
Although I’m not planning on it I will probably fail again. Sometimes life accelerates and it seems like I’ve blinked an eye as a few months have passed. There are times when more important things take center stage. When my son was born my blog and online activity went dark because I was caught between helping my wife and caring for the young one. I don’t regret those moments but I would regret not trying again, and not failing better.