Posting the process : on writing a novel, and writing better code.

For years I’ve been trying to get a mode for writing a novel. Of course I suffer from the same problems most beginning writers do, lack of self-confidence, lack of motivation.

As a software developer, most of my time is dedicated to writing code for whomever I’m employed to. Although I think I’m a decent programmer, working in my field for over ten years now, I believe programming is a craft, and I have a ways to go to be a master at it.

I been thinking that I probably could benefit from using this blog as a means to write my process on both, you know put it out in the ether, with the hope that every now and then the ether will speak back with suggestions or encouragement.

I have tons of ideas for books. Entire plot lines and dialogs are buzzing in my head, I believe that fear of it just being “a stupid idea” prevents the transfer from thoughts to written text.  Hopefully, by sort of “pre-sharing” my work on here, people will see it and help in the process enough for me to get over the fear of it “not being good”, to it actually being a fun collaborative project I can do over the past months. Also the first novel I would really like write would be a thriller based in Modern day South Korea, and would cover topics like competition gaming, racism, homophobia, South Korean corporate structures, hacking and the intelligence community (like I said, I been thinking about this book for a long time). These are all complex topics that I have varying knowledge of, and I’ve never been to South Korea. With that said, I’m going to need to do a lot of research, and would appreciate any help in writing about these things and getting it right.

Same with a software development. I have an idea for a mobile app that I’ve been working on and off for years. Mostly it’s been going slowly because I’ve been working at a day job writing code. Some cats can write cool all day and go home and write code for some side project until they go to bed. I don’t do that. I like to focus on the day job will all my energy and use home to relax.

However, I have some free months between gigs have allowed me to write a lot of working code for the mobile app, mostly the model layer. Now I’m working more on the front end and wrestling with the ideas of making a kick ass UI for it. If I throw the code up and write about the process of building a front end for this app, I’m hoping to get help on it from the Internet.

As a thanks to the Internet for helping me with both projects, I’ll open source the code for the mobile app and launch it free to use for all. As for the book (for now let’s call it SKP or “South Korea Project”), I’ll publish the finished work for free online under the Creative Commons license.

Posts about the novel will have “On SKP” in the title and posts about the mobile app will have “On Tipsy” in the title.

I know that in the end, I have to start writing and start designing this front end, and honestly I can’t promise I will finish either. But I think by having an ongoing conversation with people in both will keep me motivated.


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