Reflections on Writing


I don’t really remember why I decided to start publishing articles on this site, but it’s been 10 months now and 20 posts later so I thought it would be interesting to reflect.

My real motivation was to write up some technical notes purely for my own use. I tend to document things and take notes in BBEdit, and end up with a ramshackle bunch of un-named snippets of code, links and thoughts, and only rarely clean them up and save to iCloud. So I committed to try and write something every 2 weeks.


The first two posts were all about Alexa, specifically how I experimented integrating ChatGPT with the Alexa skill I’d been working on and then a post about account linking on Alexa. Getting account linking to work was a pretty arduous task, and I couldn’t find anything Rails-specific already online, so I wanted to write it up for “future me” to refer to! That was the only reason.

The Writing Bug

I realised I quite liked the thought process involved in putting together an article, and started to write a bit more about things like my experience with the Couch to 5K program and my weight loss journey.

I also have endless anecdotes from my time in the music business that I’ve bored everyone I know with, but wanted to start writing these up like this one when I worked with Ray Charles or my brush with Hollywood when I co-wrote and performed some songs for a movie soundtrack!

I was still writing for myself. I literally didn’t share any links anywhere! Not one. It didn’t occur to me anyone would be interested.


By the time I was getting really interested in Turbo Native, I wrote some very detailed articles I was quite proud of so started to tweet some links here and there, and share in a couple of tech Discord groups. To my surprise got some really great feedback. Completely unexpected but I have to say I really enjoyed the dialogue. It felt good.

Real World Value

But it wasn’t until Rails World in Amsterdam earlier this month that I really saw the value other people can find in seemingly simple posts. A couple of folks thanked me directly in person for articles I’d written that they’d stumbled on. That tiny connection was so powerful. Just to have helped one or two people felt great.

Then sitting in the audience watching the long anticipated keynote from DHH, I almost fell off my seat when I saw a screenshot from my post about Strada from this very site up on the huge screen, and then DHH mentioned my name!! In the Keynote! Surreal.

To top the week off, while walking back to my hotel after missing the last tram, I got talking to some other conference attendees about Rails etc. The topic of CDN’s came up for some strange reason, and they mentioned they’d been reading and sharing a recent post by “someone”. He pulled it up on his phone from the browser history, and it was MY POST on Active Storage and CDN’s!! Spooky!

Give it a Go!

So, while I can’t promise random late night CDN conversations, or being featured in keynotes, what I can say is I really love this new found hobby of writing for no real reason other than keeping notes for myself. Why don’t you give it a go yourself? If you set your expectations as low as mine, then you can’t go wrong! Good luck, and see you next time.

Rails World Keynote