Saturday, July 28, 2012

Five Years

It seemed so long ago when I first starting blogging. A number of other writers had reached the five year mark in their blogs and I can remember being very impressed. “There is no way I’ll be blogging for that long” I thought to myself. Five years is both a very long time, and a brief instance in one’s life, it is funny how time can seem so contradictory.

Five years actually came last year -- I had blogged a full year at another site before I switched over to Blogger and renamed the blog. At that time I was contemplating the type of post I should write. Should it be funny? I’ve never been able to get my sense of humor to come out correctly in writing (I am actually funny, it just doesn’t translate well). Should I write another of those rants on the ills of the software industry? We’re an immature industry, which drives me nuts, but there doesn’t seem to be much on the near horizon to be able to change that. Perhaps I should reflect on the sorry state of discussions in the Internet? Rude, stupid and mean often combine to interrupt the necessary flow of communication, but I do have a sense that slowly that is breaking; that once all of the newness diminishes, we may actually get down to sorting out the mess our world has become. So what then?

I took up writing because I tried to write a book but then soon realized that I had no real understanding of how to communicate my thoughts in ways that were readable. I had managed to get well into my late thirties without writing anything more than a few pages. I had always known that you don’t really understand something until you can explain it to others, and that verbal conversations doesn’t really allow for you to go deep into a body of knowledge. After a rather productive period back then, I had acquired a new sense of how to build things, but still lacked the ability to share that knowledge. So off I went, continuously stumbling, in the hopes that I could somehow make a difference.

These days I’m no longer so keen on changing our industry. I tend to write for myself, to clarify my own perspectives and to help me tie together the vast stream of loose ends I’ve accumulated over a long, and sometimes painful career. That leads me towards my interests, whether or not they are popular or desired, but I am happier now with what I am saying and slowly I think I’ve managed to improve the way I am saying it. Writing in this fashion is an excellent way to learn to clarify one’s knowledge and I’d easily recommend that more people pursue it. Fame and fortune won’t be yours, but there is a tremendous amount of growth and satisfaction that come from being able to see how you are progressing in your pursuit of wisdom. We only get better as when we acquire more knowledge, and it is far tougher to turn a stream of facts into really deep understanding than most people realize. Maybe when I get to my ten year post I’ll have something more enlightening to share ...