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Paul Graham on why writing is harder than programming

If it wasn’t obvious from one of my recent posts, I’m doing some writing.  And when I’m engaged in an activity I tend to read more on the subject for inspiration. As I was taking a break procrastinating by skimming my feed reader, I saw a new post by Paul Graham on why writing is harder than programming. I love his comments that

With hacking, you never have to worry how something is going to come out. Software doesn’t “come out.” If there’s something you don’t like, you change it.


…writing is like painting. You don’t have the same total control over the medium. In fact, you probably wouldn’t want it.

I think this is amplified if you have a perfectionist nature as many programmers do. Always trying to fix things, trying to improve, refactor and make it better. With writing though, you have to actually finish at some point. There needs to be some semblance of a final version or there will never be a copy for a someone to actually read.

Read the whole article as he makes some excellent points. As opposed to Paul’s usually long essays, this one is easily digestible.

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1 Comment

  1. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the
    video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about,
    why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos
    to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?