I aim to publish a blog post every week, at least when it’s not vacation season. I’m happy that I’ve published so many blog posts even though not all of them are very good. Unfortunately actually writing the posts is not that fun. It’s easy to postpone the task when you’re not feeling inspired.
I’ve solved the problem by using Beeminder. It’s a service that allows you to make a bet with yourself about reaching some quantifiable goals. I’ve bet $10 that a new item will appear on the quanttype RSS feed every week. If it doesn’t happen, I will pay $10 to Beeminder the company.1 It’s not a big pile of money, but having something on the line makes the commitment feel more real.
The brilliant part of Beeminder is that you can change the bet any time, but there’s a delay of one week before the change takes effect. For example, if I want to give up on my blogging goal right now, that’s perfectly fine, but I still have to publish one blog post this week. This means that I can’t just cancel the bet if I’m not feeling inspired some week.
When I tell people about Beeminder, they tell me that it’s weird and ridiculous. It works, though. I’ve kept blogging and I haven’t lost any money in a long time.
Sometimes people say that the money should go to a charity or something instead of Beeminder. If you’re opposed to funding Beeminder, better not to lose the bet, then.↩