I have three days off work, starting today. I didn’t even wake up until 8:30am. How does that work? Usually I’m awake and up at 7am. Maybe I need to add one of those life tracking bar-graphs to my bullet journal, to record the time I get up and go to bed. I tried it for a little while when I first had the bullet journal, but dismissed it as a bit ridiculous – you end up informing your actions each day based on the knowledge that you are recording them (scientists would call it the “Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle”) – which is kind of self defeating.
I started the day with no real plans, and thought about spending the morning writing. As always happens, a rabbit hole appeared in the form of a re-organisation of all of my online writing. I didn’t need to do it, but a particular mania that occasionally eats away at me during the quiet moments overtook the part of my brain that should be quite happy twiddling it’s tumbs, and before I knew it I had downloaded an export of the WordPress blog, and was writing Python code.
In the past I have always written blog posts as plain text (in markdown format), and copied the results into WordPress, Tumblr, or whatever other platform has been the flavour of the month. The files are always formatted the same, and always filed into year and month subfolders. It makes it very, very easy for me to re-purpose the archives – to make Kindle books, for example.
Here’s the thing – a couple of weeks ago I decided to do away with the archive, and just trust in the mighty WordPress. Which was fine. Until I decided that was a stupid idea, and wished I had never got rid of the archive by accident in a huge cleanup of Google Drive last week. I’m SUCH an idiot sometimes.
So this morning I set about writing a script in Python to take the export from WordPress, and turn it back into the neatly formatted collection of year and month folders filled with Markdown formatted files that I used to have. Along the way I also cleaned up some formatting issues I always knew had been there, because as I said – I’m kind of crazy when it comes to things like that. It’s the same part of my brain that built foundations for buildings in Minecraft, even though they wouldn’t be seen.
One of the huge advantages of keeping all of my writing in text files is the same tools I use at work to look after source code can be used on the writing – I can check completed posts into an online repository as a sort of “King of the Nerds” archival backup facility. I’m still deciding between GitHub and BitBucket for this – not that you’re probably interested at all.
I’ll go back to writing about mundane things later. I might even make the script I wrote to export the wordpress posts available for others, if there is any interest.