I have a new essay to share with you today, and this one's pretty personal. I've been writing more than ever, but suddenly found myself wondering why. This essay tells the story of how I grappled with the question, and shares answers I found through the teachings of Elizabeth Gilbert.
Hope you’re doing well, and staying safe!
I was up late writing one night, when my wife walked over to my desk and asked:
”Why are you building a ‘digital garden’?”
These days, I spend the majority of my time writing. I’m publishing a weekly newsletter, writing essays, and tweeting daily. Last Sunday, I took it a step further and launched a digital garden to share even more of my writing publicly.
I confidently articulated all the benefits of learning in public to my wife: sharing my process, getting early feedback, and teaching others along the way. She seemed convinced, and went to bed.
But her question still lingered on my mind. Before I knew it, I was in a quicksand of questioning myself:
Why was I spending all this energy on a digital garden?
What am I even trying to achieve with my newsletter?
Is sharing what I learn really worth the effort?
I tried to remind myself of everything I just told my wife, but it didn’t work. Those reasons made sense when I was trying to convince her. Convincing myself was a different matter.
Then, it hit me: I was trying to emulate others.
People I respect were sharing everything they did, so I figured I should do the same. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that line of reasoning just wasn’t good enough. If I was going to keep juggling all these writing projects, I needed a stronger reason why it made sense for me... (Read More)
After launching my digital garden last week (notes.salman.io), I got a bunch of questions around how I built the site. I wrote a short note that summarizes my setup, in case you’re looking to build your own.
I’m kind of obsessed with this animation I discovered from @lyncharl — the artistic style, the music, and of course the animation technique. My favorite part is the little white dinosaur morphing and lumbering along — I love it! I could watch this all day.
I also loved this TED talk by Simone Giertz: Why You Should Build Useless Things. If you haven’t heard of her before, she makes “shitty robots” — she designs them specifically to solve problems poorly, and the results are hilarious. Here’s one of my favorites:
Stay safe out there, and steer clear of the shitty robots!