Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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I’ve mentioned 750 Words before. It’s a pretty neat service that allows you to write privately online. It’s not public like blogging is, so if you’d like to develop a daily writing habit but don’t want things to be available to the world, it’s a pretty good option. You can of course, just write on paper or on local files and just not upload anything to the cloud at all. But there’s some benefits to an online service like this one too - the most obvious one is that you can write anywhere, with any internet connected device, but they also have a few other nifty features like tracking streaks (which can be great for building habits), and 750words even allows you to attach daily metadata to your posts (such as a number indicating your mood for the day or how many hours you slept) and it can later show you a chart of how that metadata changes over time. They also have stats like how fast you type, or what mood your writing indicates and so on.

I was reminded of this service because I found the export files I got from them a while back. More than a year’s worth of daily posts, 365 entries apparently according to the site. I’ve been thinking about writing a python script to parse the export files and mass-import the posts into this blog (back filling 2011-2012 when I wasn’t blogging much), but there’s a few issues with that:

  • generally, the style of entries is more “what I was doing this day” than the kind of stuff I write now, which can be fine, as it still provides a good window into what was happening with me in the past
  • some entries may contain information I wouldn’t normally write in a public post. I may name names, talk about people I’m annoyed with, and so on
  • it was not uncommon back then for me to have a mental block and not knowing what to type that often led me to just typing words at random until I either hit the target goal or subconsciously hit upon a topic I’d like to talk about

I guess the privacy is the real issue. The best option is probably to export them as Hugo drafts, then review each draft one by one before having them go live on the site. I’ll add this to the list of small side projects I may never get around to finding time to do (this list may be growing too quickly!)

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roytang.net is a personal site; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.