It’s been a week since I’ve started this blog, and I haven’t made a single post yet.
So what have I been doing?
Before writing anything, I wanted to make sure I was doing it right. So I went around and asked a few of my friends what I should write about, and received some scattered feedback. One said that I should be consistent, maybe stick to writing a technical blog. One said that I should be artistic, and expose a more personal side of me. One friend stressed that I should be original - no point in reiterating what other people have already said. When I told my girlfriend (Joanna, you’ll probably hear more about her soon) about my intentions to write “A Comprehensive Guide to Kinkaku Izakaya”, she said that I’m dumb and that I should just give up blogging.
I considered all the advice I’ve received. And then I waited.
First, I waited a day.
Then, I waited throughout the weekend.
Then, I waited the next week.
I was waiting for inspiration to come find me, you see.
Blogs should have an identity. I thought about Bai Li’s blog (luckytoilet.wordpress.com) - one of the only blogs I actually follow. It’s a technical blog, but it’s also full of personality. Recently, he wrote about linguistics, but in the context of his travels through Asia. He also wrote about the details of his personal projects, such as an AI that can write sheet music. It’s an amazing blog, and it became the benchmark to what I was comparing my blog (or rather, the idea of my blog) to.
In the back of my mind, I was doubting myself. What if people think my writing sucks? What if I have nothing original to offer? What if nobody wants to read what I have to say - or worse, they read it just to see how dumb my writing is?
I wanted my blog to be perfect. And none of my ideas were meeting the expectations I had set for myself.
In Good Will Hunting, there’s this one scene where Will talks to his psychiatrist, Sean, about a girl he’s seeing - about how amazing she is. Sean suggests that Will should call her, if she’s so great. But then, Will replies with this:
“She’s perfect right now. Why would I want ruin that?”
To which, Sean retorts:
“Maybe you’re perfect right now. Maybe you don’t want to ruin that.”
Maybe that’s what was I had convinced myself of: my blog is perfect right now. It can still take on any form, it can still be as eloquent, thoughtful, and as original as I want it to be, because it hasn’t been tarnished yet. Publishing my writing online would break that perfection. It would erase the endless possibilities. It would become real.
But, honestly, a shitty blog that’s real is still better than a perfect blog that’s imaginary.
And so, when told myself that I was waiting for inspiration to come find me, I wasn’t really waiting. I was just scared to take action.
When I was in high school, I often had friends who would come up to me and ask: “I want to start programming competitively. How should I do it?” I would tell them to try to solve problems on wcipeg.com, and to participate in TopCoder or Codeforces competitions. Very few people actually did. They would ask “What language should I use?”, “What algorithms are important?”, “How do I get better at Dynamic Programming?”. None of that really matters. They held off on competing in a competition until “they were ready”, because after all: They’re perfect right now. Why would they want to ruin that?
Inspiration didn’t find me, but I’m going to chase it. I’m never going to write that “perfect” blog. But I will write a blog.