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I have an intense compulsion to write. I'm good at it. I can pound out 2000 words of coherent English prose in half an hour.

I wish I could do that. I always found writing for my English classes was incredibly difficult, especially as the length requirements grew.




Kylec, as a programmer you should be already really awesome with logic, organising information into structured flowcharts and be able to abstract information into skeletal frame. You know how PG's essays are pretty long but they go from start to finish with clarity of direction and logic? I'm pretty sure you can write well too, because you can code, and because you mentioned "length" as the difficulty, not grammar or spelling or your stuff not making any sense. Maybe you just haven't had a really good english teacher back in HS, don't let that limit you. Take a writer's workshop or join a toastmasters. Hmmm is it possible to start a HN writing group?

Writing was my best talent (coughwascough) before i found programming. I believe there's some inherit link between the two.


My main problem has been that after I say everything that I want to say I still have several pages to fill. I imagine this would be like asking a programmer to deliver a 2000 line program that the programmer can write in 200. It could be a psychological revulsion to waste (using more words/lines than are needed) or it could be that I don't have sufficient depth in my thinking to produce the volume of content needed to explore the topic. Either way, I think that I've probably seen the last of my mandatory minimum page lengths, so I'm not particularly worried about it. Still, it would have been a nice skill to have back in high school.


I used to run into that roadblock before. I find that what you can do is look at the ideas you started with and what you have written and then make sure that all your points are sufficiently proven. There is almost always some finer detail you can elaborate on (for instance by adding an example or two) and if it doesn't quite fit, you can delegate it to end notes or foot notes.

Sometimes, it really is waste and you have to hit the deadline, but other times it can make your piece a lot more interesting.


Not sure a HN writing group will take off, but I'd be all over it. A place to work on my own skills and a chance to help people who need... help would be great.




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