Writing vs Coding
When I deploy/publish software, there's usually nobody using it (just like my writing), but when eventually somebody actually uses it, I get to see what interactions they did. There's a lot of fine-grained, actionable feedback about what works and where users get lost. The first time a stranger succeeds in using my app to accomplish what they set out to do: woah, dopamine rush!
I am struggling to find a cadence in writing. It makes me question why I want to write and what purpose does my writing serve? And then, why is it so much easier for me to write software than to actually just write?
When I write software, I get an instant response. It's usually reporting an error, but then I fix the error and when it works it's instant gratification, due to something I did. There’s that familiar dopamine rush.
Writing is more lonely. When I put something out, even when I'm lucky and someone chances upon it, how do I know what they get out of it? A writing community like Write of Passage definitely helps. Aspoints out, an accountability group like the one we're both in helps provide feedback to one another's writing. I definitely recommend it.
However, there's one aspect that I especially miss in writing software. When software is useful, folks actually come back over and over again and that is where the magical flywheel starts.
I've come to realize that for writing, I am the "software". I am successful when people do come back, but it's super rare that someone will come back again to something I wrote before. However, I can aspire that some folks will look forward to more of my future writing. So, they can come back again and again to read me or my writing.
And that's why a writing cadence and a virtuous cycle of improving my writing is so critical.
If coding is so different from writing, why don't I just stick to my knitting? Why do I write?
It boils down to two big reasons:
Writing helps me clarify my thinking and in so doing, helps me understand myself.has explored quite a bit on this reason eg.
To borrow’ excellent phrase, I have a connection craving. It's truly delightful to be in a community of writers and people who love ideas. In our last accountability group meeting, when I brought up this very topic of how coding and writing are different. I heard so many interesting product ideas of how we can create better tools to receive writing feedback. I can listen and brainstorm about product ideas all day!
All this is to say, I love writing especially when I am in the flow. But at other times, it’s a grind and a struggle and I feel the pressure to write regularly. How can I make the process more playful, experimental and fun? How do you do it? I’m all ears
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