Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The art of writing

I've always considered myself more of a coder than a documenter (if there is such a word). I like writing codes but I hate writing about them. I do write about it once in a while in a blog or something if it's something especially hard and I might have to refer about doing it again but usually I'll just file it in my head as "ooooh.. I can look it up later if I REALLY need it". So some of the stuff that I really hate to write up are user manuals and requirement specs.

Now I've been burned enough times to know that requirement specs are really crucial to a successful software project. If the user does not know what they want, then you'll soon be sucked into the black hole of "user wants" pretty soon and it would take a whole lot of thick face justifying yourself just to save your sanity much less the project. But even then, I'm still very much unmotivated to do it. One of the reasons is that it is so bland and boring. Boring to write, boring to read. And finally nobody would refer to it. But recently I read that you should strive to make it enjoyable to read. Maybe even funny. And I was awestruck. A funny user requirement specs, that'd be awesome. :)

If you know me personally, I think you'd agree I try very very hard to be funny. Is it difficult to be funny? Hmmm.. I practice a lot and still sometimes it's just flat out come out flat. So I guess it's pretty hard. But you know what's even harder? Just becoming consistent in the discipline of writing. Ok.. maybe for me at least, being consistent in being disciplined in anything at all.. :P

I have this blog right here, and I retain the rights to say whatever I want on it, and I could practice my writing skills every single day if I wanted to, but I know that would never happen (yeah... I hear your sighs of relieve for not needing to read my rants everyday). Because I know I'd never be able to stick to it. Maybe once a week, maybe, but anything more than that would be nigh impossible.

You know what's another funny thing about writing in blogs? I used to write without a care in the world because I know nobody is going to read it. But since I know people know of it, and read it, and some even kind enough to leave comments in it, my mindset changed. I write as if I'm writing for an audience. Oh I know it's all my fault, that it is all in my mind, but I can't help it. That's how I feel about it. I don't think it's a bad thing, only that it sometimes makes me take a longer time to write it up. I think more about the words and composition, think more about how the references have to be right, think more about making it acceptable. So in the end, all the speed you get practicing touch typing for hours and hours becomes moot because you just sit there in front of the monitor for 5 minutes to write a single sentence. Of course once the idea comes rampaging through you're glad you can type pretty fast, but most of the time, you're no faster than a 'hunt and peck'er. Oh well... that's all for now I guess. See you again next week, same time, same place.. ta.. ta.. :D

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Haiya ala Solah