Coder's Cat

What I Learned From My 5 Months of Writing

2020-03-27

This is my story about how I started a journey of writing and began to find the fun of writing.

Start it now

I’m a programmer, not a native English speaker. I have been working as a software engineer for almost 10 years.

But recently, I rushed into an interest in English writing. I’m always in the fun of reading, but I didn’t write too much. The last time I wrote in English was more than 12 years ago, when I was in my college years.

I chose a cute domain, and begin with a self-hosted blog, start to write without too much hesitation. In the beginning, I wrote on my familiar topics like programming, software engineering. About one piece per week and I insisted on it for about four weeks. After the struggling period, things started to get on track.

The hardest part for a new writer is how to get initial attractions. Feedback is important. If nobody were reading my posts, I would not get any feedback, and then I don’t know how to improve.

My post seems like the pebbles thrown into the sea. I tried almost any method I could think out. I tried to post my link to Quora groups, post it on Reddit, post it on the Facebook groups. This kind of self-promotion could bring some visits. But it will become dull quickly. So I didn’t do it too much.

Then, I found a new world of dev.to. It’s a warm and kindly community that encourages new technical bloggers and writers. I posted some long and well-crafted articles on it and got more than 6k followers in one month. This helped much to build my confidence.

So, my first advice for a new writer is: try to embrace a community.

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Improve on writing

About one-month latter, I found writing on Medium is an excellent experience. Medium is a community focus on high-quality reading. So I began to put more time on my writings and cross-post them to Medium.

I learned much about how to improve writing on Medium. I read many tips, stories, experiences about writing from great writers. One important lesson I learned is: use simple but powerful words, make sentences easy to understand, especially for a non-native English writer like me.

I began to submit some articles to some big publications. It’s not easy at the beginning; I got rejected at a rate of 50%. But slowly, I got more writing skills and always re-read my pieces many times, making it better day by day. I know it will be a long-time game; what I need to do is keep doing.

“Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Soon, I got my first chocolate without expectation. This article earned about 600$ in one month.

I found there are some non-technical readers attracted by this post. I sent my post to some of my friends who does not use command lines before. They also love it! It seems this kind of article shows the humor of our technical guys.

One thing I learned from this is: writing is about sharing, sharing our knowledge, stories, thoughts, and feelings. If you enjoy something, try to share it with others, you will get more fun in luck.

Always be writing

These days, I begin to write one post everyday. Flavio Copes is one of my favorite blogs, the author had written one blog post every day for two years!

I have the same feeling; writing is like creating a garden in my spare time, with my passion. I want to make it beautiful, and hoping some others will benefit from it more or less.

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To improve the skills of writing and make my garden beautiful, always be writing is the most important thing we need to keep.

People overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a year.

Tags: Writing