Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reading thuRsday in 2011

Reading thuRsday

Aside perhaps, for software*, we expect, when we write, that our words will be read. One of the most difficult things for a writer to do is learn how to evaluate their own work as a reader.

Put another way, writing for comprehension (or consumption) requires a parallel skill set as broad and rich as the skills you need to express yourself in writing.

It's something that I learned slowly. In fact, I originally intended Thursdays to be a day for discussing the books I've read. I'm not ready to admit that will never happen, but I'm more interested in the general problem of not losing touch with your inner reader, especially when it comes to your own work.

This is the most difficult of the topics to pin down: I haven't yet found a simple rule to distinguish between posts that run Wednesday and Thursday. The decision isn't arbitrary, but it's not systematic. I have an informal sense of which discussions belong where. I hope that with your help we'll get better at formalizing and expressing the distinct but complementary nature of writing for expression and comprehension.

* Making sense of a program written by another software developer is often so challenging that programmers lament about "write-once/read-never" code.


Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net