🏠 Home
Lyokolux's blog

Write everywhere at any time

Cory Dtoctorrow is the most prolific blogger, because he writes everywhere, in any condition. He works for Creative Commons and EFF, wow! He’s the author of the neologosm “Enshitification”. Much wow! He’s an inspiration in that sense. Cool, because I want to write a lot too. What does he have to say about his writing manners?

“I learned to write crammed into coach seats with my laptop keyboard practically vertical, my wrists bent back at an agonising angle. Between flights, I’d write crouched on the floor under the water fountain between the toilets in the departure lounge, nailing the only outlet and plugging in my travel power strip to share with others. […] I have written so much in so many places that the desk and the comfy chair and the big monitor are largely aspirational for me — the kind of place I’d like to be writing in, but rarely the place where I end up writing.”
— Cory Doctorow

Ok so he writes everywhere. Every possible place where you can fit is a place where Cory can write. So should we?

“The biggest predictor of how I felt about my writing was how I felt about me. If I was stressed, underslept, insecure, sad, hungry or hungover, my writing felt terrible. If I was brimming over with joy, the writing felt brilliant.”

A second insight illustrate that the place does not matter. The mood much more though! So for Cory, if you’re in a good mood, then you will probably write good and better.

“I have a daily writing target, set for each book, informed by my other commitments. It’s been as little as one page/day (250 words) and as much as eight pages/day (2,000 words), and I hit it every single day, no matter where I am.”

As its his business, he has to reach for some quantity. Daily goals are a way to reach it because it needs consistency. As programmer you also have to deliver consistent work on products.

He stated these words in Finding comfort in the chaos: How Cory Doctorow learned to write from literally anywhere. Ok so Cory writes everywhere and is prolific as fuck. He has some daily goals to keep quantity as expected.

On the other side, he travels a lot. When does he write? We get an answer on Adactio’s blog post:

In other words, while it seems like there’s never a good time to write about something, the truth is that there’s never a bad time to write about something.
What the world needs on adactio.com

This quote comes from the post that gave me the idea for this blog post by the way.

Today, writing is easier with a smartphone, as long as it has battery power. A small notepad can also do the trick. Hop it’s possible, write it down. There’s never a bad time to write about something.

Having habits is all well and good, but there are limits to how well you can maintain them, especially on a chaotic day. You need either a café, an atmosphere or a place. That’s not practical enough for me. On the other hand, being able to write in any situation is a real advantage.

I am writing on the train sitting down, with a bag on my lap and my feet between the suitcase. A French-speaking person in front wants a seat in his place, and two English-speaking people would like to stay together. A third person steps in to explain the situation in German. I explain in French. She agrees to take the free seat in the next car. Nickel’ I’ve got two hands almost free. It’s ok, now!

It’s no big deal, we just have to get on with it, develop our ideas and say what we want to say. I’m more inclined to think that it’s all in our heads and our way of thinking, and that we can do it. Writing for oneself first, to be possibly useful to others. That’s how Linux, Git and React got started: programming for oneself and possibly being useful to others. This principle seems to be equally valid in programming.

Second train, no room to sit, the suitcase and my bag between my legs. It’s always one hand on the phone. After all, some people write as well for people on Whatsapp in this case.

Okay, I’m writing this paragraph on May 3, so 3 weeks later I wrote this draft. I added nothing to it except translating and I could have published this 3 weeks ago.