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Improving The Accessibility Of Your Markdown marks the hundredth post I’ve written. 100 is a bit of an arbitrary number, but we’ve mostly decided to be a base 10 society, so it also represents an opportunity to take pause.

I’ve written ~143,500 words since 2015, not counting alternative descriptions, code examples, videos that contain text, or MDN contributions. The average novel length is around 50,000‒80,000 words, so this number kind of blew my mind.

I thought I could write about writing, as well as share some history, advice, and some self-indulgent facts.

The Kivikosking part

I never set out to write. In fact, I was kind of terrified of it.

The idea of doubling down on a concept and screaming it to the entire world is daunting, especially in an industry that is both fast-paced and full of career-ending snap judgements.

Enter Mike Kivikoski. Mike is what you’d get if a friendly mountain came to life and decided to become a product designer. I worked with him a few jobs ago, and consider myself a better person for it.

Mike and I liked to talk shop. Whenever I mentioned some problem I was working through, he told me, “That’s cool. You should write about it.”

Eventually, Mike wore me down.

I hit publish and waited to get roasted on Hacker News. And nothing happened. Just another post syndicated on a blog on the internet, adrift in an endless sea of content. It was amazing.

Kivikosking is the practice of shutting out all the myriad concerns and anxieties and just putting something out there. It takes your inner feelings of doubt, grabs them by the scruff, and calmly escorts them out of the establishment.

Now, any time I encounter something interesting, I think to myself, “That’s cool. I should write about it.” And I do.

I’ve been roasted on Hacker News, dragged across the internet, scoffed at in tech forums, subtweeted, concern trolled, sent hatemail, you name it. But you know what? The positive interactions I’ve had because of my writing far outnumber the negative ones.

It’s also a weirdly small internet—you’d be surprised at how many things you put out into the world in good faith come back to you in a positive way.

I want to read your work. So do countless other folks. Embrace your own inner Kivikoski and write about it.

A simple Sharpie illustration of Mike on two sticky notes. One sticky note displays his face, and the second is a speech bubble that reads, “That’s cool. You should write about it.”

The advice part

Before I dole out this list, I need to acknowledge the privileges inherent in who I am and how it shapes the advice I give. With that said, here’s what’s helped me:

The navel-gazing part

This is mostly for my own edification, but here’s some tidbits about the 100 posts in aggregate.

The long and short of it

I know my work is almost always too long for web content.

The longest post I’ve written is A Complete Guide to CSS Functions. The shortest is A Website is like a Puppy.

My most contentious post was CSS is a Strongly Typed Language, but I wish more people would argue with me about In defense of Mega Man boss lairs.

I’m most proud of my Equivalent Experiences series, and most embarrassed by How accessible is your website for the disabled? Consider doing an audit to find out.

A post I thought would make a big splash was The Radium Craze.The post I get the most long tail engagement with is How to not make a résumé in React, but that’s mostly because Max Böck is a mensch.


The top 10 words I’ve used are:

  1. Use
  2. People
  3. Content
  4. Web
  5. Design
  6. Accessibility
  7. Work
  8. Experience
  9. Mode
  10. User

I’ve been trying to move away from the word “user,” so it’s a little depressing to see the list bookended this way.


The top 5 tags I have are:

  1. Accessibility
  2. Development
  3. Design
  4. CSS
  5. Inclusion


The breakdown of the places I’ve written for is:

  1. This website, 35 posts
  2. thoughtbot, 20 posts
  3. CSS-Tricks, 15 posts
  4. Cantina, 10 posts
  5. The A11Y Project, 6 posts
  6. Smashing Magazine, 6 posts
  7. 24 Accessibility, 2 posts
  8. Envato Tuts+, 2 posts
  9. Shopify Partners, 2 posts
  10. 24 Ways, 1 post
  11. A List Apart, 1 post
  12. The Human in the Machine, 1 post
  13. Poynter, 1 post

35 posts on this website kind of threw me, in that I initially didn’t anticipate this website becoming a blog.

I’d also love a chance to write for you, if the content I write about is a good match for your publication.


I bought the print created for Paint the Picture, Not the Frame, because getting published in A List Apart was such an important career milestone for me:

A pencil sketch of a penny-farthing bicycle, with a sleepy donkey in place of the large front wheel.
Dougal MacPherson does great work.

I also belong to CSS-Trick’s MVP Supporter program, and Smashing Magazine’s Member tier. I don’t consider this a conflict of interest in that I wrote multiple articles for each publication before joining.


I’ve been paid ~$5,000(!) for my submissions, and donate half of what I earned to nonprofits. The five I most frequently support are:

  1. NV Access,
  2. SLPC Action Fund,
  3. The Electronic Frontier Foundation,
  4. Black and Pink, and
  5. Girls Who Code.

These are great organizations, and I encourage you to consider them.


I’ve had to whip up functionality to capture these emergent information needs. I might write about it at some point, but here’s the high-level gist:

What I’m thinking of writing next

Here are some ideas from my drafts:

If any of those sound particularly enticing to you, let me know.

Here’s to 100 more posts!