3 min read

Reasons to Write

Reasons to Write
Photo by Etienne Girardet / Unsplash

Almost ten years ago my best friend and I were traveling through South America, and I said that I wanted to start a blog. We decided then it would be called “The View from JQ.” It’s been on my mind since that trip to start that blog.

For the longest time, I thought about creating a place where I could write about coding, eating, traveling, and random moments in life that inspired me. I put together designs of what my website would look like, built it and rebuilt it on several platforms, and even bought theviewfromjq.com.

Ten years later, despite many attempts, I still haven’t really started my blog. A number of things got in my way — finding the time to do it, fear of sharing what I had to say with the world, and generally feeling uninspired because life got in the way.

I revisited the idea of “The View from JQ ‘’ every year when I make my new year’s resolutions. This year has been no different, except I’d like to commit to making it a reality. So what’s different for 2024?

Here are my reasons to write:

I want to write to remember my life.

I’m getting married this coming February, and it feels like I’m entering a new phase of life. I feel like I really won’t stay young forever, and I don’t want to forget what it felt like to be who I was today.

I find that the writings I visit the most have always been ones that are public. These are things like my Twitter thread on turning 30, my series on supply chain security for Go, and various Go blog posts about security and pkg.go.dev. I also love that my conference talks have captured moments of who I am throughout the years. I want to write and share memories publicly so I have a place to remember and revisit more of my life.

I want to write to be better at what I do.

Writing is thinking on paper. Paul Graham has written that putting your ideas into words makes them more precise and complete. You can’t have a fully formed idea about it without writing about it. You can’t think well without writing well.

Of all the things that I choose to do and be this year — an engineer, a tech lead, a marathon runner, a human being — I want to be good at it. And I’m convinced that writing about these things will make me better at all of them. I want to write more to think more clearly, speak more succinctly, and show up more intentionally in all that I do.

One day I’d love to write a book on something I feel like an expert in. For now I’m hoping to start with ~750 words or so a day of journaling or hitting the publish button on Medium once a week.

I want to write to connect with others.

I’ve spent so much of my career searching for answers through blogs like Julie Zhuo, Lara Hogan, and Will Larson. Whenever I’m not sure how to do something, I’d read through these blogs to look for advice on how to approach things differently. Being able to connect with people through their writing has helped make a lot of problems I face seem much more tractable.

Since becoming a staff engineer, a lot more people have been asking me for career advice. It’s always so rewarding when a story from my own career seems to lift someone up, or something I share seems to shift someone’s narrative.

I’d like to do more of that along the way. Writing to share and connect feels like another good reason to do so, particularly at a time when I feel like I’m really figuring myself out too.

Here’s to hitting that publish button in 2024.