Is it worth publishing

24 Feb 2021 - Dan Petrow

I’ve written many things that looking back were low quality or didn’t stand up over time. Therefore I believe it is important to formalize the criteria for which I decide a post is worthy of being published.

Personally, one category of writing that I feel compelled to produce is expository content.

An expository blog post should explain a subject and be valuable when revisiting in the future, or be beneficial for someone else who is trying to learn about the topic. I also think that documenting experiments which expand or confirm the collective knowledge is a valuable form of expository content. An experiment should make a measurable claim about a subject that is testable, repeatable, and verifiable.

For example, I feel good about what I’m currently writing regarding my gardening systems and strategies. This is documentation of my current gardening strategies in 2021 that will be valuable to look back on in the future. Anyone else who hasn’t done much gardening could read this post and benefit from my personal account of trials and errors. This post also asserts that I will start 4500 plants this season which is a verifiable claim about the future so not only does it explain the subject of gardening but it is also an experiment.

Two other posts that I appreciate are the quarterly review post and the technologies to learn in 2021 post.

These posts feel lower quality than the gardening post currently but they all contain a bit of a claim that I will do something before a specific date in the future. I think that the quarterly review post and the technologies to learn post could go back into the drafts but be expanded and turned into a first hand account and explaination of something that I did in the future.

A second form of writing which I am familiar with and enjoy is argumentative writing. I appreciate logical discussion so doing this type of writing is enjoyable for me.

Without further ado here are the criteria that I should use to evaluate whether or not a post is ready to be published. Answer yes to all questions in at least one sub section or the post is likely not worth putting out into the world.

1a. Is the post an experiment? 1b. If so what are the assertions, the repeatable methodologies to test the assertion and the results?

2a. Is the post a how to/guide/review written after a first hand experience? 2b. If yes, is it immediately clear what the reader should be able to achieve after reading and is the largest question of why someone would want to do the thing discussed?

3a. Is this an argumentative piece of writing? 3b. If so what is the overall claim 3c. Does the article have supporting sources? Are counter points addressed? 3d. Is there an audience for this writing? 3e. If the audience is convinced is there some action step they could reasonably take?

I predict that in 2022 this guide will still hold up.