I mentioned this yesterday, but late last night while updating my site statistics and prior to pushing my site live, I noticed that my site said it was my 100th day of Learning Log. Wanting to do something for it, I took a full-page screenshot of my Stats page and posted it to Twitter under the #100DaysOfCode hashtag. The response was surprisingly and wonderfully encouraging - a few retweets, some likes, and some new followers! Crisp and Google Analytics sprang to life for the first time, and it was incredible seeing people actually check out different links on my site. I was plenty motivated to drive forward before, but the engagement and support was like an extra tank of gas, and fundamentally felt different.

To everyone who is reading this, whether you are here for the very first time or if you’ve been been reading for months, seeing this as it comes out or in the distant future, I cannot properly express how grateful I am to each and every one of you that you would spend some of your time stopping in.

After work, I had a call with a professional connection to continue a discussion from earlier that day. During the call, and to my surprise, they offered to help mentor me towards my career goals! My biggest issues right now were, they said, that my network was super weak, and that I need to “find my voice.”

I know that I talk a lot over here, but that has mostly been directed towards the void of non-socially-promoted internet obscurity and my future self. In discussions, I try to be actively mindful of how much there is to learn and the value of experience that others bring to these conversations, and strive to soak it all up like a sponge to mentally distill over time. That also means that I end up just being quiet and listening most of the time. I also tend to not be as externally assertive with my objectives - call it being polite, or shy, or whatever - ultimately, I need to learn how to overcome this disposition if I am to be successful with any really meaningful objectives. Not everything can be brute-forced with study and willpower!

Additionally, all of the professional connections I have made recently have been incredibly and genuinely supportive of each other, and focused on lifting up the people around them. Honestly, it is kind of a wide-eyed culture shock from what I’ve been accustomed to throughout my professional life. It has added so much more hope and cheer and motivation to my life, and gets me excited to get out there and meet more people.

Honestly, I’m pretty nervous to step out of my bubble and make new connections, and maybe I’ll look a little foolish at times, but maybe I’ll be fortunate to meet more supportive people who will help me course-correct through this unknown territory. I have some homework and a timeline…so now I need to figure out where to fit this different set of career development learning into my schedule!

Through Twitter, I encountered and joined a Discord for technical writing. Everyone was very welcoming and seem to span an array of topics and experience levels, and their blog directory made it really easy to find some incredibly inspiring and though-provoking blogs. I was immediately a huge fan of Susan Shu Chang’s blog in particular. As part of my networking homework, I tried to build out who I was following by adding a few people I was already interested to follow, and then going through the technical writer’s group list to see people’s blogs as they get released.

The first issue of the Scrimmage Notes Newsletter (go check it out!) came out recently with excellent links to different articles and resources. One article about the value of launching something to the web was particularly impactful:

“Projects are currency in a networked world.”

Tom Critchlow

I hadn’t realized that having projects online was supposedly so uncommon! This is an extra push to move towards the personal projects in my bucket list.

I keep trying to get to bed on time, but falling behind schedule. I’m running low on steam lately and will ultimately need to take a rest soon to be more productive. I’m aiming for draft-box zero, and will hopefully get there soon!