Write without thinking
It is more difficult to think of something, organize it, and work out the wording and grammar in your head before writing it down. I find that a lot of times writer's block is from trying to do too many things at once.
To solve this problem, I started writing as more of a stream of consciousness allowing my mind to wander. I didn't focus on the specific words or sentence structure but instead on getting ideas on paper.
Afterwards, I would start grouping thoughts and ideas, and reordering them within the groups but also reordering the groups themselves. Sometimes thoughts worked better in different groups.
This solved the writer's block problem but it was tedious to do on paper, and the end result was hard to decipher.
Notes apps are great because they're a blank canvas. Notes apps aren't great because they lack tools to easily restructure what you write:
- You need to use special characters, uppercase, or spacing to create hierarchy.
- You need to carefully select things to copy and then carefully place the cursor to paste in the right spot
- You need to create your own way of tracking things as done if you're creating a task list
What if there was an app that was a blank canvas but provided just enough structure to allow you to do the above? Hmm..this kind of exists but the current apps tend to be bulky or complicated or try to do everything.
What if I keep it simple and just do 5 or 6 things really well?
I come from an open source and web background working with Drupal for nearly a decade. Since the iPhone SDK was released, I wanted to learn to create native apps but didn't have the time, energy, or an idea.
I left a position in late 2017 where I was still developing and I closed the one and only freelance project I retained. 2018 was a fresh start at a new organization where I would not be developing. This solved my time and energy problem.
I have done stand up comedy twice and wrote my sets as described in The Problem. The method really does work but it is tedious to do on paper. I finally found the problem that I could solve!
With time, energy, and a problem, I started to teach myself Swift using YouTube, Stackexchange, Reddit /r/iosprogramming, and a lot of trial and error. This will be a continual process with no end state. If you want to see under the hood, I've open sourced Outline bungo.