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Writing Practice

I started this blog for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons is that I wanted to get better at writing.

IRL1, I’m not very good at explaining thoughts as they pop up. I tend to think about stuff faster than I can talk or I jump from subject to subject, I get sidetracked, forget what I’ve already talked about or I forget who I’m talking to and what they know or don’t know already. Obviously, talking to me can be exacerbating though occasionally amusing.

The (primary) reason I have these problems is that my brain is usually zooming off sideways while I’m trying to talk forward thanks to the miracle of ADD.

Having ADD means I might have a hard time staying focused on things for more than a moment. I interrupt a lot. I get bored easily. I seem hyperactive at times because I change gears all the time.

ADD has it’s benefits though. I’m pretty creative. I have the ability to come at problems and situations from lots directions, many in completely new and weird ways. I can focus on the whole of a problem and the details at the same time. I go through phases where I can juggle several tasks at the same time and do as well with them as I would if I did them serially.

And ADD makes my writing a little strange.

ADD makes my writing choppy; I leave off parts that I thought of but couldn’t get my fingers to type as fast as my head.

But ADD is good for editing other people’s writing, especially when intended for the web. I get bored if a paragraph is too long; opening sentences should clue me into the content so I can decide if I want to read it. These sort of changes makes reading on the web much easier.

Which brings me to another reason to practice writing; writing is a form of user interface. You can improve the usability of writing just like designing the interface for a web page or web application. You move a button or a sentence forward to make it more visible or more likely the user will click on it or think about it.

In fact, I’d argue most things are a form of user interface. Menus, signs, roads, programming code, music scores, music, movies, photography, network protocols, guinea pigs…

Practicing writing will, in theory, help me think about and design user interfaces, which is something I like doing a lot.


  1. In Real Life

Comments

Gravatar for paul, n5iut
Paul, N5IUT

Christian,

We have ADD and building things in common. I am sure that you saw some of that in me when I was teaching the Ham classes in San Antonio. You are a hard person to email. I like the new site. Please email me if you get some time.

Guido

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The personal blog of Christian Höltje.
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