Monday, October 29, 2007

Blogging as RWT (Remedial Writing Therapy)

A collegue of mine said I must have a case of blog-addiction since I'm maintaining two personal blogs - tardate and pratalife - as well as a group internal blog. So of course, how could I respond other than by blogging about it? ;-)

For me, the motivation to blog actually stems from a recognition that after 20 years of a technical consulting career I find myself with a kind of literary disability! I've been trained too well to think and write like this:

  • Background


    • Early years: enjoyed art. English teacher voted me "most likely to write a novel"

    • Shift to science/math high school major

    • 4 years of engineering/computing degree

    • 20 years in IT - development/project management/consulting


  • Understanding of the problem


    • Think in bullet points

    • Focus on logical presentation of argument/point-of-view

    • Descriptive and narrative writing not needed


      • (may be spoken)

      • drop adjectives - except for sales-related like "best practice", "open standards-based", "agile"



  • Solution


    • Start a blog

    • Start writing full sentences again

    • Focus on story-line, experiment with techniques for getting a message across

    • Cover wider range of topics and subject matter

    • Form of Remedial Writing Therapy (RWT)


  • Benefits


    • Rediscover vocabulary

    • Build story-telling skills

    • Rekindle interest in broader range of intellectual pursuits

    • Even with a small audience, some chance of feedback


  • Not in scope


    • Won't help learning how to use a real pen again!



So is it working? I think so. The first effect I noticed is an almost immediate improvement in my ability to sit down with a topic, get into a flow and quickly produce a finished piece. Remember essay writing at school? Yes, like that.

I will leave you to be the judge of whether what I have to say makes any sense or is of any interest!

NB: Yes, you may have noticed my homage to Aaron Swartz' Powerpoint Remix, which is included in Joel Spolsky's excellent anthology The Best Software Writing I

1 comment:

Umesh Kakkad said...

Quite true. Blogging does get you some sort of focus on your thoughts. Otherwise all this random thoughts are bound to get lost in the abyss. Atleast it makes you chronicle some of your ideas, which might be helpful for the community out there.