The best way to...



What is your best way to write? What is your best trick to take note? What is your best productivity advice?

You might have answers to these questions. If those tricks actually work for you, it's because you have something that is usually missing from the equations. You had material to work on.

Unless you have material to work on, there is no reason to read about the best trick to anything.

One day, a friend convinced me that we should both write. This was after we completed our English 1A class, we both got As. I was so excited that I could hear generic ideas bubbling in my head. But before I put the first word on paper, I went online to read about writing advice.

The first thing I found was people recommending Strunk and White, the Element of Style. That's the book we used in class. I didn't understand why people were swearing by that book. It wasn't helping me get started at all.

I spent some time reading about the Oxford comma, then about a space or two after a punctuation, and finally passive and active verbs. It still didn't help me get started. Everyday I would spend an hour reading about writing, preparing for that thing I was going to write one day. It's only today, more than a decade later that I remember this story. We forgot all about it. I had read so much about writing but it didn't materialize into anything at the time.

I was doing what schools usually teach students. Learning about a subject in a vacuum. I learned all about writing, yet I never practiced it. What I should have done instead was write. Write anything whether it was good or bad. Once I had material, I could look for advice to help turn it into something readable and understandable.

I can say this with confidence because this is how this blog came to be. It was two years after I had dropped out of college that I decided to start this blog. I didn't read anything about writing, blogging, or programming before I started. I wrote a few articles, and eventually I built a framework to display it on the web.

There is no best way to start anything. You do it, and eventually you improve it.