Hello World or Prepare Your Running Shoes

2 minute read

A couple of days into this year during the winter holidays in Sardania with my girlfriend and her family, she and I made a plan of what we would like to achieve this year. We had done a similar thing last year so we started this exercise with going through those notes. One thing I had written last year, not as something to accomplish, but a wish for the future was writing. I enjoy writing and it’s something I miss from my Toastmasters days.

In order to not procrastinate any further, I decided this year would be the year that I started writing. Said and done, out of the gates I installed a fresh wordpress site on this domain and started drafting my first post. A post which should have been this post. But it never materialized. The draft just remained there collecting digital dust.

The other day it hit my why that might be. The effort needed to enter my writing workspace was too big. I needed to log into my wordpress site then navigate inside this administration tool, easy as it is, it is still new too me. Then I needed to write my post in an editor I’m not used to. The obstacles to get started and complete the process were just one too many.

It’s recommended that if you want to start a habit of running, you should make it as effortless as possible to hit the tracks. If your plan is to go running in the morning, you should take your running shoes out of the shoe cabinet, untie them and leave them by the door. Maybe even better, next to your bed.

I decided to scrap the wordpress site and instead I found the tool jekyll to convert markdown texts to a static website. The process for me is much simpler. First with my favorite editor atom I draft the blog post using markdown. When I’m happy with my creation I move it to the posts folder of my website on my local computer. I then serve it locally and check it in my browser to verify everything is ok. Finally in order to publish the post I just run a simple shell script copying the updated site content to my host and it’s immediately live.

This is my way of preparing the running shoes for writing online. I use the atom editor all day for coding and updating knowledge repositories related to work written in markdown. In other words, to get started writing I don’t need to switch context/tool and I write the post in the same way I do all day long. Same thing for serving the site locally and deploying it, it’s very similar to what I already do.

See, here it is, it worked! The first post is finally published. Just about two months late. Let’s just pretend I’m at the same level as Douglas Adams.