What the title says.
There’s nothing as intellectually humbling (for me,at least) as trying to put an idea, which is crystal clear in my head, in words for all to see. It’s when I usually realize I don’t really know what I’m talking about. I tend to agonize over every sentence and every construct, not to mention the constant questioning if the world needs another poorly written blog (answer: no.).
I find I fare better with live conversation because I don’t have the time to over-analyze everything that comes out of my mouth, and hope that people don’t have as much time to analyze it. So basically, I just think of conversation of having a lower standard than writing, and also, talking allows spontaneity, something which I kill while writing.
Jeff Atwood’s post about “tricking” developers into writing first got me thinking. He’s right. People (and especially developers, and especially me) need to learn to write. That’s part of the reason I started this blog. You can exercise your writing skills just fine on SO. But it also adds a few hurdles which discourage me. You have to be fast, otherwise someone else gets the up votes, and you feel as though you put your effort into writing your post for nothing. You also have to write answers to specific questions (doh, it’s a Q&A site). That’s fine, but deadlines and specific topics are what journalists should worry about.
Whether it’s a review, a rant, technical documentation, an email, or anything longer than 140 chars, I’m lost for words. That’s why this blog is so static, and feels semi deserted. I believe most people feel this way and that’s why most blogs are in this state. That’s (part of) why Twitter is blooming. 140 chars are enough to transmit the gist of an idea, but little else. Elaborating on a basic idea is usually what scares me away (also, redundancy – I hate that I always have to worry if it’s been done/written before; double hate the fact that the answer is a Google search away.).
The above post illustrates just how hard writing is for me. But I’ll keep at it.