How to overcome your fear of writing by writing like you code

So why are you trying to do that when it comes to documentation, email or a presentation.

I like this quote from Jodi Picoult…You can always edit a bad page.

You can’t edit a blank page.

You have to actually get something down on the page before you can improve it.

In Marion Smith’s book she refers to this as “vomiting” the first draft.

Anne Lamott calls it the “sh*tty first draft”.

One thing is clear.

The first draft is not going to be pretty, but it’s the necessary first step.

Feel the weight lifting off your shoulders as you give yourself permission to write the first thing that comes to mind, regardless of the quality.

With coding you want the first version to do something OK.

With writing you just need to get some words on the page.

Any words.

There’s no compiler to reject them so what are you worrying about?SummaryGetting a minor dose of fear before you start writing is normal.

It happens to professional writers so it’s not surprising that it also happens to developers when they need to write.

My recommendations are:Get something on paper, anything at all.

Write down whatever comes into your head.

Use agile/Scrum rules: iterate and adaptUse coding refactoring rules: reduce complexity and improve readability over timeJust remember, the next time your boss asks “Have you sent that customer email out?” you’re not doing a parachute jump.

All you need to overcome your fear is to vomit out your first draft and iterate.

You already have the coding skills, now you just have to apply them to your writing.

Originally published by Chris Rowe at leadtechie.

com on March 3, 2019.


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