chris j wallace

Writing is Hard

February 11, 2019

I recently joined Cloudera Fast Forward Labs. They do a bunch of cool work, but the most publicly visible artefacts of that are probably the research reports and accompanying prototypes. I happened to join at the point in the research cycle where we stop scratching our heads and start putting some words to page. I’m enjoying reading honest-to-goodness academic papers more frequently. Once the reading is done though, it’s time for writing. Well, I’ve been an academic, I have papers of my own, I’ve done this before. Time to just roll up my sleeves, pour some fresh coffee and crank out a few thousand words of genius, the very epitome of lucid thought, distilled into beautiful prose.

Nope.

Writing is hard. I’d forgotten how hard. I like to explain, and teach. I enjoy it. I’ve been having some fun with Observable notebooks recently. But still, writing is hard. Like everything else that is hard, especially communication (giving talks, for instance), whenever I’ve been successful at it my only “secret” has been to pour in time. So much time. I’m thinking that by making the occasion to write often, I’ll improve, and require less time to write each specific thing.

So, welcome to the blog, I guess. If the plan works, and keeping it improves my writing, then this should be the worst blog post you’ll ever read from me. Sorry about that.