100 Days of Hashnode: The Journey So Far
100 days ago, I published my first blog post on a new and unfamiliar platform called Hashnode. Today, publishing articles on Hashnode is a routine, a hobby, a great joy.
Hello everyone! In this article, I want to reflect on some things I've learnt as a writer on Hashnode and look back on some articles I'm proud of (because why not?) to celebrate 100 days of publishing articles consistently on Hashnode.
Warning: Quite a long post. So thank you if you decide to read till the end :)
How I found Hashnode
It was May 14, 2020. 3pm. I was working remotely while publishing articles on Medium. I took the leap of courage to finally start a blog because I wanted to reinforce my knowledge and learn from others in the community.
But Medium did not feel like a community. It felt like a publication company. I couldn't read a lot of articles unless I subscribe as a member; but I don't like to see money going out of my pocket every month. Also, because it is such a huge platform, it's difficult to gain engagements and interactions with readers.
So I asked a friend for some advice on how I can connect with my audience better and learn from them in Medium. She simply told me to check out Hashnode because she found it to be more niche and engaging for developers. And she thinks my content would match Hashnode better than Medium. I am so glad I took her advice that day. I immediately created a Hashnode blog in less than 1 minute!
From the beginning, I was already impressed by this great platform. It looks like a social platform for developers and writers. It already feels more like a community because of the niche this platform targets. The design of the site also looks welcoming, friendly and gives off a positive vibe to it.
As an introvert, it is an important factor to me to publish in platforms where I feel comfortable to publish. So I spent a good 4-5 days observing the website, reading some articles in it (loved the no paywall) and learning more about what the platform has to offer in general.
And on May 20, I published the first article that restarted my writing journey here on Hashnode.
Proudest Moments & What I've Learnt
Just scrolling through my posts, I can't believe I have written and published a total of 57 articles in 100 days. That itself is already a proud moment for me.
Scrolling through every single article that made it out of my laptop...
Just in case, I checked with an online tool to make sure it is 100 days.
Now I'd like to reflect the learnings and commemorate some of my older articles.
1. Build a Contact Form with React and Nodemailer
May 21 : This article is special to me because it was the first time I tried to blog in a more tutorial style. Before this, I wrote in a personal journal style, to log my progress and learnings. I left out a lot of details and did not really describe how I implemented solutions in my projects.
This was the turning point, when more readers requested me to elaborate on my articles. So this article was the first ever attempt to write for an audience besides myself. I remembered I had a lot of doubts in my written communication and "teaching" skills then. I revised this article over and over again, thinking it would make it more perfect. It took me about 3 days to finally publish it.
What I've Learnt:
- Focus on progress rather than perfection.
- Everyone starts from level zero. It's better to publish and receive constructive feedback to improve than not publishing and not learning.
- How to write and articulate concepts to an audience (still learning this).
May 29 : Before this article, I was in the routine of publishing articles on the same day as I completed writing it. Which is why on days when I was free, I would publish 2-3 articles on the same day. But when I don't have time to write, I realised that I won't be publishing often so this writing process becomes harder for me to maintain a consistent blog.
This article marks the time when I decided to write whenever I am free and save them into drafts instead of publishing immediately. It is the article that started the evolution and progress towards my current writing process. Also, it is the first article where I received a nice comment from a reader on Hashnode. I was so thankful and happy to learn that my articles were helping at least one person somewhere on Earth.
What I've Learnt:
- Separate writing plans from publishing plans.
- Don't publish more than 1 article a day.
- Re-establishing a more consistent writing process.
3. Become a Better Developer with Self-Care
June 1 : This was my first attempt in writing a non-technical article. It was like a reminder to myself to practice good self-care habits because I know my sleep schedule, posture and lack of physical activity is taking a toll on my productivity.
I was so surprised to see this article becoming the first one to receive so many likes and comments. It felt like I was not alone in this and I was happy to read other's opinions and thoughts on this topic. Gradually, this article made me start interacting more with the members of Hashnode.
What I've Learnt:
- Publish articles on topics I care about. It doesn't have to be technical or tutorials all the time.
- Engage and interact with the community to get the best out of writing
4. The DevOps Series with Buddy
July 4 : Fresh start to challenge myself to write about a new topic I'm passionate about. DevOps. There were not many articles on DevOps on Hashnode. I felt it needed some love so this series was launched! Special thanks to Buddy for the support too.
What I've Learnt:
- Always trying something new helps keep me excited to write and publish
- Write what you want, even though other people have written it
- "If you don't see the book you want on the shelf, write it." - Beverly Cleary
5. The 2Articles1Week Challenge Series
July 10 ~ July 28 : This challenge was launched while I was writing the DevOps Series. I hesitated a little if I should do it because I was afraid I could not commit. But I got over my fear and proceed to take this challenge positively. It turned out to be the most unforgettable month for me.
Writing 1 non-technical and 1 technical article per week was fun. Even though it was a difficult challenge, the feeling of writing and doing the challenge alongside the best writers on Hashnode such as Tapas Adhikary Bolaji Ayodeji Edidiong Asikpo, inspired and motivated me even more to succeed. I enjoyed it very much and learned a lot from reading the amazing articles from fellow writers too.
I felt like I have made some new and wonderful friends here. So I was more comfortable to write articles like My Ordinary Writing Process and Why Every Developer Should Start Blogging. Both of which are articles I am proud to have written to this day.
What I've Learnt:
- Enjoy the difficulty, love the process
- "I get inspired by my friends, and if a friend is a writer, that is even deeper." - Nick Flynn
6. Let's Build a Node.js REST API Series
August 1 ~ August 7 : If the 2Articles1Week Series was the highlight of July, this series is equivalent to that. The highlight of August. It was not only helpful for beginners learning Node.js, but also a good refresher for me and a lot of people.
I made the decision to publish the series for 7 days straight because the articles in the series are so connected to each other that it might break the momentum to post it every 2 days. It was another tough challenge to face, so I was proud to complete it without any issues! Another proud moment to be recorded.
What I've Learnt:
- Tested my limits on how much I can write in a day and how frequent I'm comfortable publishing
- Concluded that the optimal time to publish for me is late night after work, and after I proofread for 5 minutes
- "If you want to be a great writer, you must do 2 things above all others: read a lot, and write a lot." - Stephen King
You're still here?
If you read this far, thank you so much. I know this article is not really useful because it's a personal reflection. Let me take this time to thank you for visiting and hopefully, enjoying my articles. I'm still lacking in many ways so this milestone could not have been achieved without your support, the Hashnode community and the amazing team behind the platform. I look forward to seeing more progress from the platform, reading great content from many aspiring writers and making new friends. At the same time, I'll continue to write on this blog with great pleasure!
If you're looking for some blogs to follow (besides the amazing 3 I mentioned earlier), please have a look at the section below of some incredible blogs I've enjoyed this week. Have a blessed day, cheers!