I fell off the blogging bandwagon just as everyone else was hopping onto it.
I was just thinking the same! It felt like everybody and their dog did Bloganuary last month, meanwhile I went in the opposite direction!
Historically, there’s been an annual dip in my blogging around February/March (followed by a summer surge!), but in recent years it feels like
that hiatus has shifted to January (I haven’t run the numbers yet to be sure, though).
I don’t think that’s necessarily a problem, for me at least. I write for myself first, others afterwards, and so it follows that if I blog when it feels right then an
ebb-and-flow to my frequency ought to be a natural consequence. But it still interests me that I have this regular dip, and I wonder if it affects the quality of my writing in any way.
I feel the pressure, for example, for post-hiatus blogging to have more impact the longer it’s been since I last posted! Like: “it’s been so long, the next thing I publish has to be
awesome, right?”, as if my half-dozen regular readers are under the assumption that I’m always cooking-up something and the longer it’s been, the better it’s going to be.
Take a look at the map below. I’m the pink pin here in Oxfordshire. The green pins are my immediate team – the people I work with on a
day-to-day basis – and the blue pins are people outside of my immediate team but in its parent team (Automattic’s org chart is a bit like a fractal).
Thinking about timezones, there are two big benefits to being where I am:
I’m in the median timezone, which makes times that are suitable-for-everybody pretty convenient for me (I have a lot of lunchtime/early-afternoon meetings where I get to
watch the sun rise and set, simultaneously, through my teammates’ windows).
I’m West of the mean timezone, which means that most of my immediate coworkers start their day before me so I’m unlikely to start my day blocked by anything I’m waiting on.
(Of course, this privilege is in itself a side-effect of living close to the meridian, whose arbitrary location owes a lot to British naval and political clout in the 19th century: had
France and Latin American countries gotten their way the prime median would have probably cut through the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.)
2. Language Privilege
by Automatticians. That’s somewhat a consequence of the first language of its founders and the language in which the keywords of most programming languages occur.
It’s also a side-effect of how widely English is spoken, which in comes from (a) British colonialism and (b) the USA using
Hollywood etc. to try to score a cultural victory.
I’ve long been a fan of the concept of an international axillary language but I appreciate that’s an idealistic dream whose war
has probably already been lost.
For now, then, I benefit from being able to think, speak, and write in my first language all day, every day, and not have the experience of e.g. my two Indonesian colleagues who
routinely speak English to one another rather than their shared tongue, just for the benefit of the rest of us in the room!
3. Passport Privilege
Despite the efforts of my government these last few years to isolate us from the world stage, a British passport holds an incredible amount of power, ranking fifth or sixth in the world depending on whose passport index you
follow. Compared to many of my colleagues, I can enjoy visa-free and/or low-effort travel to a wider diversity of destinations.
But even looking back to that trip, I recall the difficulties faced by colleagues who e.g. had to travel to a different country in order tom find an embassy just to apply for the visa
they’d eventually need to travel to the meetup destination. If you’re not a holder of a privileged passport, international travel can be a lot harder, and I’ve definitely taken that for
granted in the past.
I’m going to try to be more conscious of these privileges in my industry.