Gavin Wye

Independent User Experience consultant

The Problem with Writing

01 June 2012

I don't really write that much, Just look at the frequency of the posts here. The truth is I find it really hard to write. I have Dyslexia (Why they chose a word as difficult to spell as that. To describe a condition where you have trouble spelling and recognising word patterns, is beyond me). However I do find it to be a cathartic experience. It allows me to explore ideas. The trouble with exploring ideas is that your inevitably going to iterate throughout the process.

Generally I start of by listing all of the things that I would like to discuss and then try and pad out the rest of the post. Recently I was asked to write an article for Design Week outlining my thoughts about design education. I have a lot of thoughts on that subject and before I know it I was at two thousand words. I edited it a bit to cut out some of the waffle and sent it of, feeling very happy with myself. Unfortunately I had taken out all of the bridges. The journalist asked me as nicely as she could to "have another look at it". Going back to the article and revisiting it with a fresh pair of eye's it was very easy to see this. I'm thankful that they didn't publish what I had written. I rewrote it quickly and submitted it again. This time it was published and everyone has said very nice things about the article.

I was talking to a Stuart Pill about the whole experience. As he was saying that he felt it hard to. What we both have in common is the same degree, both art school based. We came to the conclusion that it's a problem that is hard wired in to us. You see we learnt to draw. When you start to draw something you map out the whole thing and then add layers to it. Getting the proportions right and then working in to the detail adding more and more removing or reworking the areas that are not right. I have tended to take this approach with writing in the past and I don't think it's done me any favours.

From here on in it's all about the short sharp post, with a digestible amount of information and a story to them, hopefully!

What do you think? Are you a designer who writes? Do you have the same problems or do you find that something else works for you?

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