[This is a continuation from the previous entry: “Coding & Writing: Twins – Part I”]
Writing, on the other hand, satisfies a different need. If Coding is the sexy Daisy Ridley-esque supermodel that graces Vogue covers then Writing is the prim and proper one. The one who sets aside time each day for French and piano lessons.
As wonderful as coding is, at its core, it’s a methodology with a very specific aim: It’s a tool to fix a very specific problem or address a very specific need. For example, I have a movie-lover friend who watches a ton of Netflix. But he often needs subtitles in Farsi, a language that Netflix doesn’t offer. So my friend was able to write a Chrome extension that superimposes Farsi (sourced from Open Subtitles) onto his Netflix videos– all because he knows how to code! Another example: A few months ago I was looking at the rather large Google Photos collection that Bagel and I have accumulated together. I wanted a way to randomly see a photo exactly 365 days ago I’d taken (“a year ago on this day…”). Well, by looking up to the Google Photos docs and seeing how the API worked, I was able to download one of Google’s starter samples and code my pet project very quickly in a weekend! Mission accomplished!
Writing, IMHO, is not as direct. Writers write for all kinds of reasons, but personally, I write because I feel it nourishes my soul. Reading is good; and I do a lot of that too. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really enjoyed writing. Another consideration to all this is that unless you’re an artist (a painter, comic book artist, musician, song-writer, etc), chances are that most days you aren’t creating anything. At the office for your job, you may move stuff around and tell what people what to do; you may organize TPS reports, reconcile budgets, and whatever. But only when you write are you putting something to paper that previously did not independently exist. If you’re writing a story, the characters you’re creating are wholly unique and products of your own imagination.
Coding is the brash and confident one who knows who she is and what she wants. The loud Rey Palpatines of the world. Writing, though, is much more the reserved and demure model, of the Regency England strain. She’s quiet and studious, always contemplating and pondering, full of wonder but also struggling with doubt and uncertainty. The simple truth, as inconvenient as it may be, it that most of us don’t actually know who we entirely are or what we wholly believe. We may know bits and parts of ourselves, and what we think we believe (both about ourselves and about the world); but the tectonic plates are always shifting– sometimes slowly, and sometimes faster. Writing it the process that helps me sort out all of this internal movement and maintain my center.