The writerly nerd
Moving from writing code to words.
Congratulations (I guess?) on finding my semi-secret Substack: a place away from my main site to discuss my journey from technologist (a pompous term that really just means I do computers) to writer (a pompous term that really just means I do computers but now it’s art).
I’ve always said that writing was my first love. It’s true! But I’d never considered giving myself the space to actually do it, beyond blogging about technology. I grew up telling stories and honing my narrative craft … and then I dropped it. I didn’t think I could make a living from it, so I concentrated on the web.
This year, inspired by people like Eliot Peper, I gave myself permission to think about it again. And then to spend real time and effort on trying to make it a reality.
So that’s what this is. I’m writing a novel, maybe more, and this under-publicized newsletter is where I’ll take you on that journey with me. I’ll be working on the craft of writing, but also taking a user-centered startup approach where it makes sense: figuring out how to make the story I’m telling accessible, using the tools I learned building and advising interesting tech companies.
Let’s make this happen. Subscribe here:
Are you going to do NaNoWriMo, Ben? I'm on the SF kickoff call right now and it seems like a super fun and supportive group. Lots of in-person and online cowriting, a Discord channel for chatting and encouragement, etc.
Given your talents, if you've not explored some of the experimental fiction side of things (like Mark Bernstein's hypertext fiction http://www.eastgate.com/catalog/Fiction.html, Robin Sloan's fish http://www.robinsloan.com/fish/ or Writing with the Machine https://www.robinsloan.com/notes/writing-with-the-machine/, or a variety of others https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=tag%3A%22experimental+fiction%22), perhaps it may be fun and allow you to use some of your technology based-background at the same time?