Dispatches from the frontlines of the business of making software.

48 Laws of Power and My Favourite Coffee Cup

Why I Write Here

Yup, Tommy’s digital home just got renovated, all thanks to the design talent of Caroline Hardy.

Now, this is the part where I say why I annoy you on Facebook.

Don’t Wait for Permission

You see, I write here because I want to become a better writer. In my way of thinking, there’s no point in waiting around from someone to crown me as a writer. Life rarely gives you permission to do what you really want to do, which is why you got to take it.

You’ll Never Have More Time

It’s funny. I spent years thinking that I’d write when I got time, someday. But looking around me, people older than me don’t have more time than me. They have more commitments, more responsibilities.

Here’s a simple exercise you can do now to see if someone really doesn’t have time to what they want to do: we’ve all got a friend who claims they want to be a photographer or, say, a writer. Now, imagine if you did NOT know what they wanted to be, could you correctly guess it from how they spend their time?

Why writing?

It’s not just about the art these days. Writing is the backbone of the internet. Brilliant writing is core of the new economy. 37signals, one of the most profitable start ups out there, see writing as their secret sauce. Mad skills at programming are great, but they’re just a tool to facilitate writing.

Never Stop Learning

When I left college, I had lots of ideas in my head of what I’d do. The majority didn’t pan out. One did: I swore to myself that I’d never stop learning. College would only be the beginning. So, learning to be a better writer is an extension of always learning.

The Short Cut to Learning (Almost) Everyone Ignores

The short cut is books. Where else can you have years of someone’s painful, hard-earned experience summarised into a single tomb for you to peruse at your leisure? And they cost a tiny faction of the value they offer. People who complain about the price of a book are fools.

One Book To Read Before Christmas

So, if you’re down with learning and looking for a new book to read, there is one book you should read: The Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss.

The book is ostensibly about learning to cook, but it’s also about learning how to learn – meta-learning being the fancy word. It’s the book I’ve been waiting years for.

A Tommy’s Top Tip, for sure.

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