Sometimes you need to bridge the creative and the analytical. Being creative is good, but for some people it’s not enough. Being analytical is good, but without creativity, you’ll lack original solutions.
I’ve learned that creativity and analytic processes compliment each other. Sometimes analysis and problem solving needs a creative mindset. Sometimes you need to do things differently to get the job done. Being creative is a great way to solve tough, non-creative problems.
I exercise my creativity by writing fiction and nonfiction. I’ve blogged off and on over the years. I write short stories and short novels. I learned copywriting and used it in my business (contract web developer, a few years ago) to land more work.
This benefits my programming work by helping me look at the big picture. It helps me see solutions to problems because, in my fiction, I have to create them out of thin air.
I like to write fiction in the realm of urban fantasy and occult horror. Monsters, magic, and firearms… They are fun stories to read and write. While I plan and plot these stories, I create a problem for the characters, then engineer a solution. I just make it up.
Over time, I noticed is how similar programming software is to writing fiction (and nonfiction, too). I realized the two seemingly disparate activities had a few similarities, so I decided to make a little list. Once I got the list going, my brain started digging into my memory banks and the end result was a pretty long list. Longer than I thought it was going to be…
I decided I needed to explore this further, so the book idea was born. I don’t know how long it will take me to write, because it’s going to be a different experience than writing fiction.
For example, if I want to write a 50,000 word horror adventure story, I can predict how long it will take me to finish the first draft. Then I can extrapolate a general launch time frame from there. If I write an average of 1000 words per day, the draft will take me 50 days to finish. I can then say that it will take X days for the first-run edit, then XX days to work on rewrites and further edits, and then be ready to publish in about X months.
I don’t think this book is going to work out just like that. This feels like it will be more of a free-form essay collection, detailing my experiences creating software and writing books. I don’t want to limit this product by locking it into a set book size. I want it to be it’s own beast, like a written instantiation of one little chunk of my brain.
Keep an eye out for more details as I make them up.