Finding time (and motivation) to write

13/07/2020
Who has the time to write? This statement is an excuse, but is it a legit excuse? Here's my thoughts on how I've struggled to learn to find the time (and motivation) to write. Don't expect a miracle from my ramblings.

My day job requires me to use a computer, 100% of the time. I'm a software developer, I make the things that computers use to do stuff. What a horrible description, but that terrible description is a symptom of my lack of writing. People say the best way to get better at writing, is to write and I agree. I'm so poor at writing right now, that I hope to look back at my (hopefully) many writings in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years time and see progression.

But man do I suck at writing right now and that's okay. I might be being too hard on myself, but I struggle with putting words to keys. I'm not the first nor will I be the last, but it's a strange feeling because I also share the issue with my profession. Programming is like writing, you write ideas down. Programming is one big idea, wrote in a special language. There are many different dialects for this language, but in essence, you are expressing an idea (oh so it feels like that to me anyway). So I'm writing in a form, all day. It's tiring. But to add to that, the writing is different, it secondary in a way. I guess it's not that different, both traditional writing is an expression but the context is different maybe? As you can see, articulation is not one of my qualities.

Programming is one big piece of logic, it flows in multiple ways, weaving in and out between different states based on input and variables. You are in control, but the output is dynamic, allowing for a wide variety of different endings. It is non linear, and it can fail. With regular writing, the input is mutable, but the output is pretty much immutable. Sure you can "edit" before and after publication, but the majority of the time it's out there in a single version.
Whereas with code, it's constantly evolving, always changing. There's code out there that hasn't changed for decades sure, but the bulk of code is new or modified. You look at the Linux kernel now vs 10 years ago? On the whole, it'll look very different. With written literature? That is rarely the case it seems. Sure there are editions, but I'm talking about 100's/1000's of changes not 2 or 3.

This is why I find it hard to write, I'm use to making 100's of edits, I'm use to altering and amending and what not. Deleting, rewriting, altering, this now does this, this now does that. This idea of immutability stifles me and it shouldn't. As I am writing this very post, I am editing. I am changing, I am going off on different ideas and it's frustrating. "Can I say how I feel better" is a constant nag (i even changed the word question to nag after I had wrote the sentence). I guess writing is always like this, but I am so use to making 100's of changes when something is wrong in code that I can't differentiate the two disciplines.

Hopefully I'll be able to either accept that my writing workflow is slow because of my need to edit on the go or I'll finally shake the habit and edit at the end. I must first stop using it as an excuse to not write. I have the time and the motivation, my output just might be low and that's okay.