Writing == No Coding

My Coding Activity on Codeberg

Yesterday, I wrote about how I have difficulty reading whenever I’m deeply involved in a writing project. Well it’s the same for coding. I can’t seem to do both at the same time. It can be incredibly frustrating.

Often I will spend my time between writing projects coding up tools I need for my writing (or my website – the Mastodon feed in the left sidebar is something I created). Sometimes, once I’ve finished a project (or even just a draft) my mind needs a break from writing.

For example, I’ve recently finished working on a random name generator that allows me to set a number of parameters (gender, social status, culture, time period, etc) and it will generate a list of names. It’s only small, but incredibly handy. It saves me a lot of time.

Coding Ambitions

Coding in Django

I have a long-term ambition to create a conlang tool that will allow me to store each of my languages, so I can easily search through them. Ultimately, it will also allow me to readily evolve the languages through the ages (spoiler alert: my stories take place over many thousands of years, and the languages change quite a bit over that sort of time period). I know there are other tools already out there, but they don’t work in the way I need, or they’re incredibly buggy (producing inconsistent results).

The problem is that there is like a switch in my mind. Suddenly, it will flip over (often without warning), and even something as banal as python code becomes almost completely incomprehensible. It often works out that after the switch happens, my brain is ready to write again.

That’s what happened when I was working on Harvard’s Introduction to Python Programming Course (CS50P – which I highly recommend). I raced through the course, all the way to the final project. I found it easy. Then I got sick. Not COVID, just something that knocked me around for a few days. One of my kids gave it to me (which is what usually happens).

When I returned to the code, I simply didn’t understand anything I had written. Instead, I spent the next six months writing the second draft of a yet-to-be-published novel. The same one I’m currently working on (which I restarted a few weeks ago). Hopefully, once I’m finished with this draft, I’ll be able to understand the python again and continue where I left off.

It makes coding up the tools I need, extremely slow, but I’m persistent. I’m more of a tortoise than a hare.


I’m skribe. I’m a writer, a film-maker and an actor. While I’m originally from Perth, Australia, I currently reside on a tropical island, the Lion City of Singapore. Fingerprint: 79A1 DC6C D367 8A31 135A 7AFA 940E 4231 D7B9 B15C If you like what you see buy me a coffee.

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