I’ve been looking at code all day, so I happily skipped off (apple-t, “wordpress”) to write a blog entry. Then it hit me: writing about code is boring. This is why the majority of programmers don’t write.
That’s not to say that a writer’s life is any more exciting than a programmer’s. I probably spend as much time on the computer a day as my husband. I also don’t write off programming as uncreative. It can be. Language is language and using it to convey anything is exciting.
That being said, a writer’s life can be pretty exciting. When I was in college, I used to dream about being like Hemingway. I wanted to cavort around the world, participate in ancient tribal customs, and drink away a few years of my life running around Asia. Some people do this. When I worked for a literary magazine, we used to get submissions from a guy that claimed he was a world traveler. He sent us to his website, and it did feature pictures of him giving the bird to the great wall of China, among other things.
The funny thing was that this guy could not write. Seriously, he was abysmal. He had these positively boring characters that would go on drug-fueled complaining binges. This kind of thing can be done well, but you have to have basic understanding of grammar and syntax first. He certainly didn’t. The stuff was so bad it became a joke between my coworkers and me.
I think that there are a lot of beautiful things in this world. God willing, I will see a fraction of them in my lifetime. I will try everything I can to bring some depth of knowledge to what I do. I just think that sometimes you should stay inside and work on your form. One of the most important parts of good writing is editing. You can hardly edit a manuscript while hunting tigers or visiting the best brothels in Bangkok.
Still, I think I need to get out of this house. I’m no Hemingway, but I’m no Dickinson either.