Writing and learning

A few months ago I wrote a post on CSS Audits. It was definitely one of those things where I figured no one else would really care, but a wise person told me to write about the things you enjoy doing so people know. So I dashed it off, put it up, tweeted about it, and went on with my day.

That post got some attention and the next thing I new Anna was DMing me asking if I would write about it for A List Apart. I wrote an expanded draft, then wrote more, sent it off to the ALA editors, they said yes, and after all the edits, today it went live.

Why do I tell you this story? Because it is another example of doing the work without expectation that it will lead to something, and, frankly, being surprised when it does. This is why writing is important to me, and although I am partial to having much of my writing here on this site, I encourage you to write however you want, to get your ideas online for people to read. Also, by writing for a publication, you get to experience what Craig Mod says so well:

To work with new people, to connect to new audiences. To broaden the scale and breadth of your voice. To stand upon the soapboxes that publications offer. To collect dissenting opinions. To see what couldn’t be seen without the help of an editor or gang of skeptics willing to look over your shoulder, pointing you in directions you considered but were too meek to explore. Mainly, to write better and with greater empathy.

ALA is always looking for people to write, send them your idea, they are such a great team.

While writing this article for ALA, I learned so much. I am so grateful for a great editor, Tina pushes me and makes me think—both good things. Anna helped with some technical details that I was stumbling over in words, shedding new light when I really needed it. Harry was so generous with emails and information about his work, it was great to meet him “virtually.”

During the final edits for this piece I told a friend, “Editors are brilliant, unsung heroes.” He responded and said, “Great writers aren’t born, they’re edited.” So true, so very true. I am grateful for all I’ve been learning lately through the process of writing. It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with such great people.