The original post was on Writing Tips as a Developer - Reading Time: 4 Mins and cover image by Hannah Grace on Unsplash
When it comes to writing, the first thought that comes to my mind is writing for a research paper to document your research findings. It comes in the form of stories that are captivating its audience through it's world-building. It could even be a technical article. Like the analysis of trends for technology or documentations like DigitalOcean or Twilio.
To me, writing serves as articulating one's thoughts and documenting your process to get your ideas across written down as a developer, a thinking individual and a human with their own voice. I hope these writing tips are useful for you to allow you to become better at conveying your thoughts and desires as an individual with your own unique voice.
As a developer, seek to do two things when it comes to writing. Firstly, convey your point across simple and clearly as possible. Which anyone instantly could understand what you are talking about. Without tons of jargons, technical terms or obscure words that are only relevant to a small number of people.
I will say KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) when you are writing your documentation or anything technical in nature. Your readers will thank you for it. Secondly, write it in your own voice like your talking to a friend that does not turn anyone off. This is why adopting tools like Grammarly and studying books like On Writing Well helps alot in changing your own voice when you write.
When your writing for a blog, especially when you are planning to write 3 articles a week. Which I had previously done, creating an outline helps to organise your thoughts. It allows you to do research on a specific topic or angle for your article. It won't eliminate your tendency of wandering off track when you write. It drastically reduces the pressure to publish on a tight schedule. Which for me was Wednesday, Friday & Sunday in my publishing schedule.
As you write more, you will feel that writing is a demoralising process. Adding on to the daunting process of writing. You need to have it edited, making it much harder. For anyone to actually publishes your article. So my suggestion for you is to have the same amount of time spent on writing and editing.
For me, you could set aside about 1.5 hours for your writing of your first draft and editing to be 1.5 hours. Do not do it in 1 sitting. First, your first draft and then take a break of 30 mins and stretch before embarking on editing your first draft. Always seek to keep the amount of time spend to be the same for the writing phase and editing phase. Because you really need to have the same amount without sacrificing your quality of the article.
The key to discipline is to set up environments and habits to allow you to work on something for your own personal health or any other things in your own life. So always seek to block out time to dedicate it to writing consistently with triggers that remind you to start and end your routine.
For me, I usually have a Pomodoro timer that rings when I start a Pomodoro session and rings when it ends. While listening to music as I write my article. So seek to change your environment to be conducive to you to get into the mood of writing.
I found that writing is a manner of inspiration & documentation. We get by feeding our minds. With knowledge, perspective, experiences, ideas on how we view our own world.
Documenting your journey and process. While morphing from a caterpillar into a butterfly through the actions and decisions that you make. Therefore you must adopt the habit of feeding & enriching your mind. While doing work that provides fruitful experiences, perspectives or struggles in both the high or low.
A collector of good ideas from a wide variety of sources. From documentaries, coffee chats with friends, books you read, podcasts, music, movies and even personal struggles that you encounter. It becomes a part of you. Instead of being a drone, focused on doing the technical work. Without the creativity to be yourself, instead of seeking to fit in.
Aright, so if you had the patience to get it till here. Give yourself a clap in the back. You might think why should I learn to write to improve on my craft as a developer.
We are required to communicate in messages. In the various channel from social media to technical documents or slack. Which are used to convey our intentions and ideas across to solve a problem and be informed asynchronously.
Besides in the eyes of your employer and a leader, strong communicators is prized. Especially in a world, where remote work is the new norm as a developer. Because of benefits, it provides to the employee in more time and greater satisfaction.
Lastly, are you looking to specialise yourself as a developer? If it's a YES. I'm giving away my free ebook called "Picking Your Specialisation as a Developer" for anyone who are interested to command a higher salary or do the work that you like.
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