It’s been a very long time since I originally built this website with the sole purpose of having my publications in a single place. While doing so, I also found it was quite easy to add the necessary code to generate blog posts (like the one you’re looking at now). So, after all, why not, why shouldn’t I? To the surprise of anybody, I haven’t written anything in the 4 years this site has been up — even though I really wanted to!
Now, the reasons for not having written anything in 4 years despite really wanting to are probably unsurprising: sometimes I feel I have nothing interesting to say. Other times when I find something interesting that I think I could write about, my immediate reaction is to think “why anybody would want to read about this”. Sometimes I feel the effort needed to write something meaningful isn’t really worth it. Sometimes I’m just tired and I rather zoom out and binge-watch a TV show or play a videogame than write a long existential blob. You know, all the bits in the procrastinator’s army knife.
But one day (yesterday actually), I stumbled upon TinyProjects, a small website full of fun week-long projects. Along with that, Ben (the author) also writes daily posts as a sort of journal. After seeing some of his posts, I fell in love with the idea of writing shorter, more frequent, and more open-ended posts. So that’s what I will try, too.
But how often should I write before this becomes a chore? Daily is perhaps too much of a commitment, but monthly is definitely too little. Something between these two sounds reasonable, but I’d like to have a more concrete (however arbitrary) timescale to start feeling I’m getting behind. So here’s one: this website’s source code is built and deployed by a GitHub Action. Its code is generated by Hakyll. Hakyll depends on Pandoc to translate Markdown into HTML. Pandoc takes some 40 minutes to build inside my GitHub Action, and it would be shameful to waste 40+ minutes of CI time building Hakyll+Pandoc for every new silly post I create. Of course, my CI action uses a cache to keep everything hot’n’ready. But there’s a limit to that: GitHub caches action’s dependencies for only 7 days.
So that’s my target, to write stuff often enough to keep alive my website’s CI cache :)