Thoughts of an Eaten Sun

through the mind of kyle tolle

No Topic Too Little

I read a blog post recently called Blog Little Things, and it’s been in my mind ever since.

Little Programming Things

The focus in that post is programming. If people blogged about the little things, and others used that information, how many hours would be saved in developer productivity?

The author Shubham mentions StackOverflow, which has helped me countless times. Some details aren’t worth committing to memory, if I can find them quickly when I need them again.

I like the author’s point that we may consider many of these little topics unworthy of the time needed to write them up. If it’s not something mind-blowing that will impress others, why bother? Additionally, there’s the fear that no one else will ever see or read it.

I can certainly understand those thoughts. It’s likely why I haven’t written more than I have. But I have written some small posts about technology over the past few years. The benefits are that I understand the topic better, have something to reference later, and hone my writing abilities. If it helps anyone else, that’s an added bonus.

His main point is: To increase the amount of coding knowledge out there, and possibly help others learn more and save time, write about the little things!

Find Little Topics Everywhere

But can’t we extend his idea beyond programming? Can’t we apply it to any topic in life? With all the people that have ever existed, most things we we experience have been experienced by someone else. How many times have you thought, “How in the world has anyone else handled this?”

You can ask friends and family, or search for a book on the topic, but that may not yield results. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was a general place where you could discover anyone else’s story and find what they did?

With the Internet’s communication capabilities, we’re closing in on that point. But people still need to write about, publish, and share those topics.

Everyone has a different experience in life, so even though many people may write on the same topic, each will have a unique twist and insight. Sharing these topics is helpful because reading other viewpoints increases empathy and understanding.

Building the Graph

It’s easy to think the only things worth writing about are those that have changed your life or will change someone else’s. But that’s missing the forest for the trees. Aren’t all ground-breaking ideas built from many smaller ideas? Doesn’t the potential lie in discovering new connections between existing ideas?

With this mindset, no topic is too little. And that’s encouraging. Everyone has a plethora of topics they could write a short piece about.

And there are other benefits. Sticking with little topics allows you to write and publish often. Momentum is influential when nurturing consistency and persistence.

When you write many posts on little topics, you build a strong portfolio. And once you have many posts, you can explore the connections between them. You can take a set of ideas and turn it into a graph by connecting the dots.

The many, little things you’ve written will sit in the back of your mind. And, as the brain is wont to do, it’ll infer and connect. You’ll see facets you hadn’t noticed before and links that were previously hidden.

Embrace the Little

Everyone has ideas. Everyone has solved problems. Everyone encounters new problems. And everyone could benefit from hearing other viewpoints, perspectives, stories, successes, and failures.

Nothing is too little or unimportant. You’ll get to know yourself better, and, along the way, maybe you’ll help someone else out.