I have a lot of topics I want to post about, but my own perfectionism tends to keep me from even starting to write them. First I have to research, distill and cross-check the facts, then I have to outline my thoughts, then I have to write and carefully insert quotes, links to references and resources, and possibly images. It’s a tedious process. I’m typically proud of the posts that I generate this way, though.
It’s also daunting, though. Something that I sit down to begin in the early afternoon can easily take me into the wee hours of the next morning. If I don’t feel like devoting an entire free day to writing a blog post, I won’t even start. Especially because some topics never amount to a blog post. Sometimes I dig into a topic, satisfy my interest, but don’t really have anything of great length to add.
I had an idea, though, inspired by Mark Zuckerberg blogging while he wrote Facemash back in his Harvard days. What if I just write the blog post as I research? It will be a way to organize the information I find and give me a place to articulate my thoughts during the process. It’ll be a more organic type of post. And it’s easy, and it’s fast. And it puts fewer barriers between me and the Publish button. Plus, it doesn’t mean I can’t pursue the topic further in a more thoughtful and organized post.
I’m calling these new blog posts Research Notes. These new posts will have a simple organization: introduction of a key question, followed by my a summary of my findings with links to sources, and ending with whatever conclusion I can draw from the information I found. Quick, a little dirty, and not perfect.
Look for the first Research Notes on June 18th.