Writer’s block…?

Just for fun, as I was starting at the “Archives” in the left pane started working out what my “post per month” average was per year. It comes out to:

2003: 19.6 PPM (only 6 months of the year, though)
2004: 12.3 PPM
2005: 9.3 PPM
2006: 4.9 PPM (only 11 months so far)

As you can see, my average has dropped precipitously this year and I’m in danger of getting awfully close to zero next year if things continue as they have been. The real question is: why has my posting average gone down so much? I mean, I’m not surprised that my average dropped off after the first year or so–sooner or later the bloom has got to come off the rose–but why so anemic this year? Why was last year not particularly good either? Is there just nothing interesting left to talk about?

Well, no, for that last question. There’s lots of interesting stuff going on in VB. LINQ and Orcas is bubbling along. Lots of interesting thinking is happening.

I think I’ve been experiencing extended transition-induced writer’s block. By “transition-induced,” I mean that the 2005-2006 has been a period of a lot of various transitions for me. Obviously, I’m about to become a father, and that’s just a huge, major, massive transition in anyone’s life. And professionally, my role has shifted a lot over the past two years into something that I still feel like is a work-in-progress. (I think my next entry should be “What the Hell I Do,” since I’m not sure that’s clear anymore, least of all to myself at times.) And, even bigger than that at work, the product as a whole has been making a major transition into maturity. We’re not so far behind the design eight ball anymore that we can actually ponder a bit more where we’re going rather than just react to the next major thing that the .NET Framework is throwing at us. And .NET as a whole has been out there long enough to start to get a feel for what’s been working well and what hasn’t.

I’m hoping we’re far enough through the transition now for the writing mojo to return a bit. It feels like the writer’s block may be starting to loosen up, but I guess only time will really tell…

4 thoughts on “Writer’s block…?

  1. Branco Medeiros

    If you don’t mind asking, what happend to the link to Eric’s blog that used to live under "Microsoft Blogs"? I frequently went there from here, and now it’s nowhere to be found… =))

  2. Anthony D. Green, MCPD

    I think there are interesting things to talk about but that they aren’t all within small overlap of useful, currently relevent, not under a gag order, complex enough to talk about at a length, fun to talk about and something that hasn’t been talked about extensively elsewhere.

    If you take requests I have some "Ask a Language Designer" ones:

    Microsoft.Office.InterOp.PowerPoint.Shape.ExportAsPicture doesn’t appear in intellisense due to Advanced Member filtering. Who makes the decision on what is advanced and why was the decision made to prevent me from turning that filtering off?

    Who designs VB? I know you write the spec and all but how do you decide where the language is going and what’s cool. Is there some counsel inside MS that meditates over IsNot and other trendy ideas? Do you have secret agents lurking among us ISVs recording our various vulgarities?

    What specific features do you (Paul Vick) want in a future version of VB or have wanted in previous versions but couldn’t get approved/to work?

    What specific features were you wanting to kill but couldn’t keep out or did keep out and are very excited to have killed? Why?

    Do you really think that VB9.0 is an appropriate nomenclature? It seems Microsoft keeps pulling a John Kerry on whether VB.NET is "a completely different though superficially related language" or "the next evolution of the worlds most popular/productive language EVER (die Java)". Where do you stand on this?


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