I remember a meme that made the rounds a while back. It’s a photo of a guy looking abstractly into the distance with a caption that reads: “Writer hard at work.”
It’s 100% truth. That’s what I look like most of the time I’m “writing.” Sure, I type words on my computer, but it takes less time than the time I spend thinking about what I’m writing or am about to write.
Which is to say, writing is pretty hard. It’s a lot like coding, really. There is no “right answer.”
Okay, with software, there technically is a right answer. If it compiles and produces the correct output, how you get there isn’t really relevant to the end-user.
With fiction, the only “right answer” is if it’s … what? Intelligible? Causes the reader to think? To feel? To learn something? It’s hard to say. All of them, none of them. Everybody has their own opinion. And the way in which you try to achieve your desired output is as important as the result itself (arguably more so).
So I guess I’ve decided to dabble in a field even more complex than my own.
But then, I’ve been able to maintain a career as a professional software engineer for over twenty years. Maybe the next twenty will be more interesting with this new challenge, eh?