My article writing process - late 2020 edition
30 Dec 2020
I have gradually been changing and refining my article writing and publishing process over the years and thought I would take the time to quickly document (for my future self as much as anyone else) the process as it is now.
The 10,000ft overview is:
- Write article text copy as markdown, article metadata (as yaml front matter) and add pictures using the excellent Typora on Linux (mostly running inside Linux containers on Chromebooks)
- Move markdown file and associated image files to my websites blog section, which is generated using DSG, a static site generator built in Dart that I maintain.
- Often I will then tweak or update the article copy as well as adding in the correct paths for images in VSCode.
- Once I'm happy with the local preview of the generated site files, I push the whole site using Git to a Github repo, which then causes a automatic build and deploy on Netlify.
- For most articles, I then also import the article into my Medium account, fix the layout (mostly just extra newlines, adding back in missing headings) and re-publish there for wider exposure. I will then also usually tweet the Medium article link, sometimes also posting it in some community slacks.
And thats about it.
There is of course room for improvements. Things I'd like to work on in the near future:
- I'm currently storing image assets inside my site git repo which isn't ideal and also doesn't work well with Typora. I probably need to get git LFS setup for my repo, though I suspect that Typora may not work well for that.
- It would be nice to have a more streamlined workflow of just using git branches for drafting new articles, but again I may need to switch away from Typora to be able to do that.
- Having to manually fix up my articles when importing into Medium is annoying, but I'm not sure if there is anything that I can do about that, perhaps not using H1's as section headings may help as the Medium import seems to just ignore them at the moment
- As I said above, Typora is a very nice Markdown editor, but I'm loathe to make myself too dependent on closed-source tool, so given the above points, I may look at moving to a different editor at some point, though even just using VSCode would mostly actually suit me fine.
I hope this has been of help to you and if it has or you have any other handy tips to share, please let me know in the comments below or via Twitter.