December 8, 2023 - Sucking less


suck lesssuck less

I am trying to suck less at writing on my blog, so I have printed out the 30 Day Challenge thingy Austin Kleon posted on his website a while ago. (There is also a 100 Day Practice, which you won’t be surprised to see is identical to the above but has 100 days.) I figure if I can write for 30 days in a period that spans Christmas I should be doing alright.

Actually there are a lot of things I would like to suck less at, and for a while I wondered if there might not be something a little more interesting than blog more” that I could work on; doing half an hour of a Domestika course, maybe, or doing some Utopia work every day. Going for a low key walk every day. Pushups. A photo a day.

But anyway, blog posts it is.

(later) Sitting at the breakfast bar with a bag of frozen peas on my knee while I wait for the coffee to brew. My knee has been feeling quite stiff and a bit weak lately; I think I have strained it somehow. I stopped running a while back when it first started, and while it doesn’t seem to be getting any worse, it’s not really improving either. I just need to get through our karate grading tomorrow in one piece and then I can give it a good rest. Cold peas really help; they are nature’s shapeable compress :)

Karate is a nice example of sucking less. When you first start you really suck, but then with every new kata you learn or new technique you improve, you suck a little less. It’s also a good example of a discipline you never stop working on. It’s all about constant refinement.

I like that approach. Not working toward an endgame but towards sucking less. Little improvements, punctuated by periodic achievements. The next belt. A completed story or essay. A novel. Even a blog post.

I like the idea of having a monthly basket” where you throw all sorts of things inside. Quotes, snippets of things you’ve read. Photos, a piece of music. Something you like to eat right now. And then at the end of the month you wrap it all up with something else, a longer piece. An essay.

I wonder how you could achieve that structurally with a website. Whether you would somehow tag your posts with a certain date-month structure and then just group them somehow. How to do it without it being confusing or messy? How to include those posts on the month bucket page but not inundate the blog feed. You’d create a page for those month buckets, and under that include links to the posts that have the specified tag. Somehow exclude them from the main entries page. And then just add the summary essay to the entries as a proper blog post.


I’ve opened up my old wordpress site again. With a new theme so it feels a bit more distant. I still want to go back through every post (388, apparently) and just make sure I’m ok with having it back in the public realm. But despite the awkwardness of reading blog posts you wrote twenty years ago (it dates back to 2003) I feel like it’s important in a way to leave those traces. It’s so easy to hit delete, and though the internet archive exists it’s not 100% comprehensive and so many things do get lost. It’s interesting to be able to dive back into a person’s relationship with the internet and see past the shiny got-it-together feels of the internet right now and see the awkward training wheels we all used to have.