A plan for writing

I've decided to write more blog posts in the first quarter of 2022. Perhaps even one per week, we'll see how it goes. You might wonder if this is a new year's resolution, but no, it's not. This resolution is part of my quarterly plan of how I will spend my leisure time. I got the idea from Cal Newport's book Digital Minimalism, in which he proposes to plan (part of) your leisure as you would your work. The goal is to live with purpose, not squander your time on low-value activities, and, importantly, to increase the quality and enjoyment of your leisure time. I've chosen to plan a quarter at a time for a few reasons. On one hand, it is long enough, so that you can complete something worthwhile, refine your process as you go along, and hopefully make it a habit. On the other, it is short enough to not overwhelm you. And, short enough to encourage trying out wilder ideas.

So why writing?

Writing is a great thinking tool. I want to distil my thoughts and deepen my understanding of subjects I'm interested in through these posts. If you are anything like me, you probably consumed more books and media in the last year than you usually do. I've read more than 20 books (fiction and non-fiction) last year, but the problem is that the content is already fading from my memory. That might be fine for the fictional books, but I read non-fiction for a reason. I want to understand the world better. And I want to bring together ideas from different books and put them to work; see where they are similar, how they differ and use them in my daily life. For that, I need to work deeply with the content.

Another reason for the posts is, that I hope to encourage myself to finish small projects that I can then write about. I always have something going on, but I don't always finish it. Be it hobby projects in programming, music production, gardening or one of my other interests.

Writing is also a versatile and universal skill that I use in many different contexts. The payoff for improving this type of skill is magnified by how universal the skill is. Improving a specialised skill will, mostly, just improve that particular skill (lots of caveats here, but I think you get the point). But improving a universal skill, such as your attention, for example through meditation benefits you in basically everything you do. The same applies to writing, just to a lesser degree.

The last reason for writing more posts is that it encourages me to use Org Roam more. Org Roam is kind of like your personal Wikipedia of things you know. You write entries, fx a summary of an idea or concept from a book, and link it to other entries in your wiki. By summarizing concepts in your own words, you force yourself to really understand the topic. Hopefully, I will be able to see some novel connections through my altogether unique web of interrelated ideas in my knowledge graph, i.e., my Org Roam.


I will attempt to break my quarter into weekly chunks. At the beginning of each week, I will sit down with my calendar and allocate blocks of time for writing these posts. And at the end, I will review how it went and potentially revise my approach. Besides splitting the work into the usual tasks of creating an outline, a draft, and a finished post, I will also attempt to use another Cal Newport concept called productive meditation. In regular meditation, the task is to keep returning to the same object of focus, fx your breath, every time you get distracted. In productive meditation, your object of focus is an outline of a post, a problem to solve, or something similar. And the cool thing is that you can productively meditate any time you have "downtime", for example, while commuting to work, washing the dishes or simply going for a walk. In fact, I crafted most of this post in my mind while taking a walk in the nearby forest.

So there you have it. A quarter-long promise to write more blogs posts has been set free into the world. Let's see how it goes.

Until next time,

— Kasper