Coding extends Writing, CC-0 by Hoper Lyle Celtic

About writing (and coding)

I always wished I had an artistic talent of some sort. Lately, some friends of mine even diagnosed me to be a latent artist.I

The truth is however that I do not have this apparently innate facility which impresses us so strongly. I cannot draw, I sing out of tune and I am unable to play any instrument.

Yet, those artists which impress us would be the first to remind that what seems to be so easy for them is the fruit of hard work. I tried to begin working on those. I draw simple things sometimes but it is not very convincing yet. A friend of mine makes me notice each time I am out of tune, and I even bought a guitar from a friend (though I did not find the time to learn how to play it yet). There was a time when I edited videos as a dilettante, too, and the result was generally much appreciated, but taking time to make the slightest detail right made the editing of a video quite long.

I cannot believe I will be a performer in any of these arts. There is one last art I always felt attracted to: writing. I even tried some poetry when I was younger. I was proud of it at the time, but it was just child-written poems. I tried again later, with variable degrees of success.

My closest friend often asks me to proofread her written works, and thinks my writing is “excellent” (this is the word she used), but I never wrote any long fictions. I sometimes began some drafts, but always abandoned them soon after having begun.

Plus, writing takes three things: time, motivation/energy and inspiration. The hardest thing to find for me is inspiration. I usually have a beginning or a main idea, but generally no idea of where I want it to go or end.

Time is another difficulty: in today’s life, finding a slot you can use for yourself (while preserving enough sleep) can be a challenge. And the third problem is that often, when I manage to find time, I am usually worn out.

But then I realized: writing is what I do for a living. Not in a language most people can appreciate, not in a way that will make me recognized for any artistic talent, but still. Coding is writing.

Taking some words and punctuation, starting from nothing, assembling them in a correct way, you just create something new for others to enjoy.

There are all the same problems. You have ways to mistreat the language, and you also have several correct ways. And of course, you have some beautiful way, which are those I hope to find when I am coding. Of course, mastering the language when writing code and when writing fiction are not the same things.

The point is: I am already writing. And this is what I love about my job: when writing, I usually lack the inspiration, and I wish I had an idea tank to develop upon. At my work, I am given the ideas and asked to write them. There are constraints, of course, and sometimes I am not allowed to search for my ideal syntax, but on the whole, I just found a job matching my vocation.

Now I wish to write things anybody can read, so I will have a new take on some fictions I have been nurturing in my head for some time. Not sure I will not abandon them in some weeks too, but I will never know I if do not try. Ideas are getting more complex, and at some point, they must be shared, proved against a touchstone, and I guess I will never know their value if I do not take time to put them on paper.

Well, in a file actually. About this, I might publish a roundup of writing tools I used or discovered lately or earlier.

Published by

Cyrille Chopelet

Programming addict, UX philosopher, casual gamer, sci-fi enthusiast, hi-tech dilettante, ... Some people even call me a geek.

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