Two years of writing technical articles 🎉

June 28th, 2021 | 5 mins read

#general

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Prior to my first post on my website which was written on 18th July 2019, I wrote my first ever technical article on Dev.to on 26th June, 20219--Making sticky column with grid area.

26th June 2021 makes it two years since my first article, and over time, I've written 90+ public articles and some private ones. In this article, I want to celebrate myself, share a little background story, and also share a little of what I've learned during this period.

Congratulations Dillion, cut soap for me 😅

Congratulations Dillion, you're doing an amazing job sharing helpful content through articles from which many people have benefitted. People have appreciated you on Twitter, commented on your articles, and even directly reached out to you for your content. You rock 🚀 We wait for many and many more articles.

On 4th Jan 2020, I started a 2 Articles 1 Week challenge, and after 32 weeks (with 1 to 3 missed weeks in between), I ended the challenge. It was quite a journey and I re-learned how important consistency is. I believe this writing thing, there's more to learn, but I'm doing quite well.

Also to add, I'm open to public writing opportunities on tech and web-related topics. Asides from the income part which has helped me make a living, I love having my content spread across the world. I believe different platforms have different audiences, and I want to reach as many audiences as I possibly can. My contents can speak for me.

A little background story

Once again, I'm going to give a big shout-out to Bolaji Ayodeji. My inspiration for writing started after reading many of Bolaji's articles in 2019. At a point, I felt "I also want to teach. I see the way I learn from Bolaji, I also want to have people learn from my knowledge". And I kicked off with the sticky column article.

Tbh, I'm not sure if, at that time, the article perfectly explained what the topic stated (there have been editions since then). All I knew was, I learned this new trick and I wanted to teach it.

Towards the end of June, I wanted to have my own website. I saw Bolaji had his, so I wanted to have my own space for my articles. I built my blog with PHP--very poor choice, but that was the language I knew quite well back then.

On August 31st, same year, I published an updated version of my site using Gatsby, and that's the framework I've been using ever since. I haven't found any reasons to change too. Gatsby's been getting better, the plugin ecosystem has been serving even the needs I never knew I had.

What have I learned/gained?

Many things! I started writing with the purpose to teach others but I found out along the line that I was also teaching myself--validating my knowledge. You know what they say: "What you don't know, you cannot teach"

So to validate the fact that I knew something, I taught it. During that process, I was able to fill up missing holes of knowledge I didn't know existed. Here's what I mean. For example, I'm trying to teach about DOM manipulations with JavaScript. The purpose of the article is to show users how to manipulate DOM elements using JavaScript. But during the process of research/writing, I learn that JavaScript does not have the power on its own to modify the DOM. Browser APIs give JavaScript access to those things.

One way or the other, I was learning, and getting better at what I already knew.

Another thing I gained was recognition for what I do. This recognition has fostered:

  • public appreciations
  • people reaching out to me with questions
  • someone says in a group "How can I get started with writing" and people start tagging me
  • an opportunity to give a talk about technical writing (of which I know many more opportunities await me)
  • recruiters reaching out to me directly to write for them
  • me applying to technical writing organizations and my track record of articles speaking for me
  • me connecting to people in many parts of the world
  • and me being able to make a living out of doing what I love to--writing/teaching

There are many more benefits but the list above entails the major of them.

Do you want to get started?

I wrote this article--Getting Started with Technical Writing--on 4th April, but it's still valid till today. You can use that, or the talk I shared above.

It starts from sharing what you already know--even if it's "What is HTML?". People will definitely complain--we're humans--"We already know what HTML is. Write about something better". My advice: Ignore them. If you feel an article has been written too many times already, and there's no need to write, check out what I wrote here--The fact that an article on that topic has been written before shouldn't stop you

Edidiong wrote about Getting Started with the DOM on the 5th of May, 2020, and you need to see how many appreciations and "I learned a lot from this" that I came across on Twitter. For DOM manipulations that one may think is very popular, there were still many people that benefitted from that article.

Also, consistency. I look back at some of my articles and I cringe at some of the grammar mistakes I made. And I'm also grateful for how far I have come.

Conclusion

I'm grateful to God most importantly. Looking at how I started writing like "play play" and seeing how far I've come, many publications where my articles are (public and private), I am so grateful.

If you haven't started yet, and you want to, please do. Start from anywhere. If you cannot build your website yet, start from Hashnode, or Dev.to, or even Medium--just somewhere.

Also, if you have questions, you can reach out to me on Twitter: @iamdillion.

And lastly, upwards!!!

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Dillion Megida

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