Writing Challenge

date: 2023-01-08

Near the end of 2022, I had it in my mind to consistently post on the retroedge.tech website. This was partially inspired by changing how I write and publish. I am now writing in gemtext instead of markdown.

I had set for myself the goal of writing and publishing at least five "posts" a week, but preferably six. This is an ambitious goal. I know. Writing consistently is difficult to keep up.

I think I can do it.

100 Days To Offload

After I started writing and publishing last week, I saw other people promoting their blog posts with the hashtag #100DaysToOffload. I did some research and found a website that describes this particular writing challenge.


I didn't start writing for the year knowing about this writing challenge, but it fits. I hope to write around 300 posts this year, so 100 is a subset of that.

So late last week, I started adding the #100DaysToOffload hashtag to my fediverse posts announing my blog posts. I don't mind the extra visibility for my writing if people stumble across my writing by browsing that tag.

Keeping Count

How to keep track of how many posts I've written this year. That's a question that I quickly thought of the answer to.

In the folder that I do my writing:

ls post-2023*.gmi | wc -l

The above line lists files (ls) that have "post-2023" in the filename and also end with ".gmi" (gemtext file extension). That would output each of the matching files names, one file per line of output. Then that output is piped to the wc (word count) program with the "-l" option which instructs it to count lines instead of words.

The result is the number of posts I've written in 2023 so far.

The value of writing

To me, writing has always been a way to help me think. When I was young, I kept journals off and on. I also wrote newsletters about topics I was interested in, even if the audience was only a few friends and family members.

Now, I know that writing helps improve my thinking and also helps me to build skill and knowledge up like building blocks. This is especially true of technical subjects such as computer system administration and computer programming. I know I make better progress when I write about it.

It feels a little weird to write about writing, instead of a particular tech topic. I did quite a bit of research today on remote support and remote management software options. I will likely write about that sometime later.

For now, it feels good to be writing more and I am confident it will bring about the changes that I am looking for. A little discipline can bring about big change... or at least build upon the change that is already in motion.

tags: #writing #100daystooffload