Confessions of a grafoman

    I am often asked about my writing. Not about specific events, or facts, or fictions outlined in this or that text, but about the process of creating texts. How do I do it, when, why, at what speed, how do I combine it with work, and do I have a job at all, etc.

    I, as expected, answered these questions, but there were so many of them that I decided to present my experience in the form of an article. The goal is exactly one - centrally tell about how I do it. Perhaps this experience will help someone. And I will simply give a link to this article when I receive another question on the topic “how do you write all this crap?”.

    Perhaps this is my last text, because yesterday I had a sharp turn in my life.


    I have no idea how fast I write texts. “Quickly” is an estimate of the actual speed, so I’m suggesting this: I’ll just measure the production speed of this article, and you decide whether I’ve done it quickly or not.

    So, I created the file with this article at 8-10 am Chelyabinsk time. The time will be "dirty" - I will be distracted to pour coffee, tea and smoke. In short, a completely natural process. At the end, summarize the measurements.

    A bit of history

    Where there is no history ... Since 2005, I worked as a 1C programmer. First in french, then at the factory, then at the poultry farm, then at another factory. Occasionally he held senior positions, occasionally slipping back from them.

    In 2017, I moved to work at Oknosoft - we are writing on js and 1C. There are only two of us here, the company is self-managing - they simply divided the responsibilities. Both are programmed, both are being implemented by customers, both are creating products and services, both are trying to make life better. I mainly write texts.

    So, I started writing at the last of the plants. I remember exactly - it was a diary of the project of strategic changes, which I led. It was a big and interesting thing, and for some reason I wanted to record the events and my thoughts on this topic - with whom I spoke, what methods I used, what happened, what was broken, etc. Unfortunately, this diary was later lost, well, and to hell with it.

    When I introduced changes myself, with my own hands, there was no need for the transfer of any knowledge - yet there is a way in my head. But when there was a big team, knowledge had to be transferred. First, orally, then began to write. So the first texts concerning business programming appeared. First in the internal portal, then in the blog.

    When I left the factory, I began to publish these texts on the Internet. Then the story of my texts is public.

    Out of mind

    I write only about what is in my head. Therefore, I do not write reviews, comparisons, journalism, etc.

    To write a review or news, you must first prepare - read, study, try, compare, test. I, unfortunately, have no time for this, therefore - only from my head.

    When new information appears in your head, there will be new texts. In that order. Being in my right mind, I will not seek and study information before writing an article. Just the opposite - the knowledge and experience come themselves, regardless of the texts. Then they somehow, themselves, are laid out in the brain on the shelves, systematized, and, finally, a light bulb comes on - everything, you can write about this topic.

    But there is also a feedback - when there is such a way out of the head as writings, the brain itself, without my participation, conducts sorting and preparation of information for publication. Previously, he only remembered, for example, some method and methods of its application, and now he also analyzes what and how you can write about it.

    Well, as you know, the brains of real sellers work - when discussing an idea or a product, they immediately, on a subconscious level, think - how can this be sold? And I immediately, subconsciously, think - how can I write about this?

    I myself consider such an approach rational, because there is no need to spend time preparing for publication. In my head there is always a list of topics for which you can write text. It appears, is systematized, and actualized by itself, and I just sit down and write.

    Form of presentation

    From the previous section, it is clear that I strive to optimize the writing process as much as possible. This approach left its imprint on the presentation form - I write as if I am speaking orally. I do not know how it is properly called, too lazy to look on the Internet.

    I just imagine that I have a person in front of me, and I am stating something to him. It turns out easily and quickly, because I love to talk.

    But there are also disadvantages. For example, poor text structure. Of course, I sometimes try to break into paragraphs and sections, but in general - I feel sorry for wasting time on it. I found for myself a certain compromise - in order not to have a sheet, but norm control will not pass.

    This style of presentation, in particular, gives rise to the frequent use of metaphors and expressions on the verge of censorship. Because that's what I say.


    Hudlit in my repertoire appeared in February 2017. Of course, I took the idea from Goldratt. Hudlit, as the format of presentation of technical and methodological information, has a lot of advantages.

    First, it allows you to remove yourself from the narrative. This is extremely important, because for any “ordinary” article there is always a question - who are you? A person writes about his experience - and who are you to tell your experience here? A person writes about the peculiarities of programming in any language - and who are you? Where is your githaba profile? Where are the services you created?

    Hudlit relieves of all this. You talk about people, events, situations, standing apart. None of your characters have to be good, bad, smart, stupid, etc.

    Secondly, Hudlit allows you to convey the history, process and emotions of a process. So, for example, it was in Goldratt's business novel Goal. He could just write the “Theory of Constraints” textbook, but no one would have read it. And the units that did read it would ask a bunch of questions - and how should they be applied in such a situation? And how to convince everyone that this particular technique should be used? And what difficulties will be encountered on the path of implementation?

    Hudlit answers all these questions. You do not have to suffer, systematize something like “options for overcoming resistance during implementation” - you simply write a story about how resistance arose and how the heroes overcame it.

    Simply put, Hudleyt allows you to write a story, not a story.

    Plots for hudlit

    I took the idea of ​​creating stories from the book of Vadim Zeland. Quote: “In order to write a book, it is not necessary to reinvent the plot - you will recognize it later. The whole plot is built from the situation, if you tame the arrogant mind and allow the heroes themselves to get out of the situation. ”

    Oddly enough, it works. You just make up heroes and a certain situation, create a new text document and start writing. And the plot is born itself, on the go.

    Take, for example, "Programmer at the hospital . " I came up with a situation - there is a programmer in the hospital who knows the theory of limitations. Everything. Then the story was born itself, acquiring new characters, characters, situations and dialogues along the way.

    Is I in a huddle?

    Of course there is. And I, and you, and that guy over there. One situation is taken from my practice, another - from the life of my acquaintances, the third from the TV, the fourth - the devil knows where.

    And there is not a single text where I would deliberately write about myself. But there are texts written about and for specific people. For example, “Requiem for a Dream” (hello, Sasha) and “Pension programmer interview” (hello, Stas).

    Texts to order

    A few months ago, for the first time, some people wrote to me and suggested that I keep their blog. Then some more people, and another, and another. They ask for a blog to write, an article about them to write, or a product to advertise them, or a handbook to bungle.

    I answer everyone at once: I do not write texts to order. All my texts are signed with my name, and the only company with which they can be associated is Oknosoft.

    The reason given above: I write only from the head. In order to write a text about any product, I have to put this product in my head - use it, evaluate it, build up practice. I will not do this.

    The exception is for Oknosoft only. Yes, you have to write texts about software products and services that we do. It is necessary, because I have to force myself. Scribbling is not my main work, it is for the soul.

    Today, the soul wanted to write the confession of a grafoman. Yesterday I didn’t even have this article in my thoughts. Three hours ago, I finally wanted to write the second chapter of Kelvin Point. But, while I was driving to work, my soul howled - I want to write the confession of a graphomaniac!

    When I write

    There is no special schedule, but there are limitations. My daughter goes to workouts four times a week, because of this, the work schedule turns out to be ragged - I went to work in the morning, then left, then returned. As a result, I spend 5 hours a day at work, and 3 hours in the car.

    In total, I don’t have much time. If in 5-hour working day to squeeze writings, then there will be no time to program. Therefore, I do not write in the office.

    The exception is Thursday - there is no training, and I am at work all day. On Thursdays I write in the office. Today, by the way, Thursday. My favourite day of week.

    In the evening - as it will. Sometimes I work, sometimes I write. Depends on the situation, there is no strict schedule.


    If you read my non-fiction articles, then you know that I like to measure everything in order to evaluate efficiency and productivity. The same applies to articles.

    I measure productivity simply - I estimate the volume of the written text by points according to the method of planning poker. For texts “out of my head,” the score is 13 points for 10,000 characters. For texts “for work” - 8 points for 5 000 characters. To make it clear: 10,000 characters is the minimum size of a single article. The average is 15,000 characters, but there are also 30,000, and even 55,000.

    Writing tasks I write in Flowcon, along with the rest of the usual work tasks. The average performance, for all tasks, I have about 600 points per month. Accordingly, if I only wrote the texts, then it would have been 460,000 characters per month - that’s about 30 medium-sized articles, or 10 copyright sheets in terms of typography, or 50-70% of the average book.

    But it is precisely “if I only wrote the texts,” which I do not do.

    Measurements help manage the writing process. I see moments when I take a great interest and start writing too much, and switch to programming. Similarly, I sometimes see that I began to write less than the average, and again open the text editor.

    In the first months of my “career as a writer,” I tried to understand the laws of this market, and undertook to count the conversion. I made a small programmer in which I drove in the number of views and positive votes in the context of articles, and counted the conversion of views into plus signs.

    Here is the graph:

    On the graph - the percentage of the pluses of the total number of views.

    Then I decided that there was a certain dependence of views and advantages, depending on the day of the week on which I post the article.

    Here is a graph of the number of views by day of the week of publication:

    Obviously, it is better not to publish on Saturday. The best days are Tuesday and Thursday.

    Similarly, the schedule of advantages by day of the week looks like:

    But this occupation quickly got tired of me, and I stopped doing the conversion calculation. I sent a request to one of the sites to open an API with the number of views and advantages, so as not to drive in the data manually, but I was refused, and I spat. The last entry with the data was made on January 21,

    2018. Among the reasons is not only the dreary process, but also the need for feedback. You see that some article with high conversion, and it is necessary to somehow take this into account? For example, to write in a similar format, on a similar topic, to be published on the same day. And this, it turns out, “to order”, only I act as the customer myself.

    But I do not write to order, and therefore spat. The only useful thing that I learned from this experience is that I don’t have to publish an article on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, because no one will read it.

    Although, the last New Year holidays this approach was adjusted - it turned out that quite a lot of people enter the sites, and there is not enough materials published. Accordingly, it is easier to get to the top and get a good conversion.

    Now I, perhaps, almost do not look at the ratings of articles. For three days I observe how she is doing there, then I forget. By itself, the rating of the article does not really mean anything, conversion is needed, and it is reluctant to consider it. So just writing and posting.

    There are also authors' ratings, calculated in different ways, depending on the sites. At first I watched them, because perceived them as a metric, something like a sports result. It is clear that this is in no way and cannot be converted into anything, but it was possible to use it as an auxiliary figure.

    Then, however, threw over this scale to follow. Going to the top is too easy to bathe because of this. Well, life has confirmed that there is no exhaust from being in the top, so I stopped following it.

    Now I went in, I looked - I'm in second place at two sites. I do not know what to do with this information.

    By the way. I am indifferent not only to my own, but also to someone else's ratings. Therefore, if you do not have enough pluses - for articles, or for any karma - just send me a link to an article or profile, I’ll go and check in without looking.


    At first, I spent a lot of time communicating with commentators. But gradually I understood three things.

    First, most commentators do not write a specific question, but just like that, and they do not need my answer. Since it is not required, then there is no need to answer.

    Secondly, there is no point in convincing someone through comments. Let the article convince. And if not convinced, then to hell with it.

    Thirdly, the comments take an inadmissibly long amount of time. Both for reading and answers.
    As a result, I formulated the principle for myself: to answer with the article. If I see recurring questions in the comments, I write an article on this topic. For example, this article is also written on the principle of "reply to the article."

    So, I confess honestly, I almost do not read the comments. I quickly look through, and decide on the go, read to the end or not. If I see immediately a specific, normal question, I will answer. If I see what a friend of mine is writing, then I will probably answer.

    But, fortunately, most of the comments are not written for me, but for other commentators - people arrange discussions in which I have no place. So I do not interfere.

    And when a person strongly wants to get an answer to a question, he will find a way to talk with me - for example, he uses the mention in the comment, and I will receive a personal notification. Or write in a personal.

    Sorian, if that.


    I treat criticism normally, because I, as a rule, do not read it - this follows from my approach to work with comments.

    Probably, the critic would have to read if the writings were my work, and something would depend on ratings and advantages. Actually, at first I did just that — I tried to write about what readers want to see. But then I realized that you would not please everyone, and I formulated a new principle for myself - there are readers for any material.

    You don’t see the real picture, but take my word for it - this is confession, not an analyst - every article and series has admirers. Therefore, all the series continue.

    Some gain 200 pluses, some 100, some only 10, and there are also hard-won messages. But for each, without exception, the article and the series, I get a lot of messages with requests to continue. Therefore, I continue.

    Here - as in music. There is pop music, the purpose of which is selling. A project is created, people are selected, themes, repertoire, clips are shot, unwind, etc. To make money.

    And there is rock music - well, real, not like in the song of Shevchuk . When people gather and sing what they want. And everyone has fans. Someone less, someone more, but everyone has. For fans, they work.

    I have several series for exactly the same reason - each has admirers. Someone just likes it, someone finds something for himself, someone uses approaches in his work. So, stop ... So, I still write to order? And the customers are the same fans? Damn ...

    It happens that a fan of "King and Jester" accidentally turns out to be at Alla Pugacheva's concert. Bored, or spat, or outraged, or just leaves. Who is to blame for the fact that he does not like Pugachev? Pugacheva herself? Or her producer? Or Putin?


    In all that concerns writings, I constantly make changes. If, again, read my articles about the changes, then you know that I love this thing very much.

    Neither in writing, nor in programming, nor in management, I have no desire to occupy any niche, develop my own style, find a better approach and use only it. I want to change all the time.

    The history of changes can be traced by the publications. At first I just expounded some methods. Then he decided to diversify, and began to write "devastating morals". Further there were articles about pieces of experience as a programmer. Then added personal effectiveness. Added deployment history. At some point, wrote the first hudlit. Then he came up with a series of publications. In hudlite, starting as a book, added separate stories. Then he came up with the format of "Corporate Manmanchsky" - separate stories in the framework of one narration. I tried to write non-IT topics. He wrote provocative articles. I tried a satire. Added characters to characters. Several times changed the presentation of the dialogue. And so on, ad infinitum.

    So it is more interesting.

    Conversations in the huddle

    Readers often speak about dialogues in hoohlite. Averaged, two options: what for so many of them, and why they are so vital.

    There are a lot of them because I, as a rule, write about office life. What is it characteristic of? The fact that there is nothing really happening, but tryndezh.

    You can, of course, write a long text about how some Vasya wrote the code. Or as Nyura prepared the report for the director. But I have not yet figured out how to make this presentation interesting.

    The main carrier of life, plot, and in general some events in the office is communication. About her and write.

    If I had written about the workers in the workshop, it would have been easier - after all, something happens all the time. There are machines that can break, there are pieces of iron falling on their feet, a crane, etc.

    And what about the office? Desk, chair, computer and person. Therefore - “Sergey sat down on a chair, unlocked the computer, turned to Stas and said ...”.

    Now, about why the dialogue is vital. The answer was in the section on plots, but I will repeat: the character invents replicas for himself.

    If it seems to you that I speak with the voice of some hero, then you are mistaken. I just imagine the situation, the people and their character, and make up the first phrase. For example, "The idea with iPhones is complete shit." What will happen next, I do not know myself. Just put myself, mentally, in the corner of the room where the action takes place, and wait for someone to say something. And write down.

    Personally, this approach annoys me. It happens that I really want to get some idea, or phrase, through Hudley, but I can't. The conversation of the characters goes, as it were, by itself. At some point, I think - so, stop, Sergey should say this. But he does not want. The conversation went to another plane altogether, and there is nowhere to screw my sentence. We have to dutifully wait for the conversation to come close to the desired topic, in order to somehow influence him.

    And when I can not stand it, and by force I turn the plot in the right direction, it turns out badly. Commentators often wrote about this - my intervention is visible to the naked eye, as if it is distracting itself from the normal flow of events or dialogues.


    Nothing supernatural. Initially I write in Word. Then I format it to the site requirements.

    On some, the editor is powerful, can swallow any formats, picks up headings, links and pictures.

    On some, you need to write in markdown, which causes some difficulties, but I'm already used to it.

    In order not to suffer with formatting, I write bare text in the Word, and I format it on a specific site.

    Why am I writing?

    Just writing and that's it. I used to try to fantasize that I want to convey some thoughts or knowledge. Then I realized that communicating is an active form, an intervention in a person’s life, an attempt to change it.

    Therefore, I began to write in the void. If someone finds something useful for themselves - well. If you can not find - do not care.

    I will draw an analogy with programming. The best products and solutions that I created in my programming practice have appeared without purpose and order. Here is just a soul asked - let's do such a thing! I did, and everything worked out - these decisions diverged in mass circulation, were successfully applied in practice, gathered an army of fans and followers.

    And when I programmed "to order", it turned out ... Well, as if something worked out. It seems to even work. And now it works. Maybe even a story would not be ashamed. But do not want to.

    In the scribbling approach is the same. What the soul asks is what I state. Absolute freedom. Should not owe anything to anyone, just enjoy the process. There is no goal, like rating, sales, reviews. And if there is no goal, then there is no assessment of its achievement. Do not like anyone, nothing to match, sell anything.

    Grafoman I?

    By some criteria it turns out that yes. Quote from Wikipedia:

    “Graphomania is a pathological desire to write, write works that pretend to be published in literary publications, pseudoscientific treatises, etc. the complete absence of any creative abilities. Written by graphomania mostly banal or even meaningless in content. ”

    There are, however, deviations from the definition. For example, I have no pathology. I can write, I can not write. I also do not pretend to be published in literary publications. And I do not write scientific papers.

    I was often called a graphomaniac. At first I tried to argue and make excuses, then I began to simply ignore, but now I decided to agree. What, in essence, is the difference?

    In the definition of graphomaniac hidden assessment. It is assumed that there are some people who can evaluate the text and decide whether a person has the abilities, whether his works are scientific, whether he understands some areas. And these people give a rating - well, there, I don’t know, on some scale. The author in this case becomes a petitioner - brought the text, and wants to be appreciated. They put the pluses, or wrote a review, or sent them to the circulation.

    And what will happen if this procedure does not pass? The evaluation procedure, in a sense. Is the person who wrote the text and did not show it to anyone considered a grapheater? Or the one who published the text, but did not come for the "expert opinion"? The whole commission runs after him, shouts - Stop! You are a graphomaniac! Your text is shit! And he goes somewhere, on his own business, and he is not blowing.
    That's about it. But, since I confess, let me be a graphomaniac.

    Is there, I wonder, a similar term for programming? That's when I encode something that nobody asked for, and I do it for one reason - do I like programming?

    The influence of scribbling on life

    Scribble, especially hudley, affects life quite significantly, and, mainly, positively. It enriches the perception of external information. You start to notice something that you have not seen point-blank before.

    For example, reading fiction, I now pay attention to the technique of execution. How does a writer make dialogues — a conspiracy or insert points like “John answered”? How often does he use these points? Long or short writes sentences? How often does the participial and extra participle turnovers, verbal nouns, dots and internal monologues of characters use?

    You also begin to automatically notice in the life of the starting points of the plot - the situation. You see some event, and the idea of ​​the story is immediately born in your head, and the plot appears in the process of presentation.

    You see situations in life and at work. For example, pay attention to the fact that the client base 1C size of 1 TB. Given that the intensity of data entry, the number of objects and accounting contours is about the same as I had at the factory. But my base was 15 GB. The head itself begins to think about the reason. Then I caught the phrase, I heard a comment there - aha, that’s the plot.

    The revelation of the past holidays was, for example, the series "Doctor House". I used to just watch and enjoy it. And now I see the work of the writers, their efforts to fill the plot with additional lines, which sometimes outweigh the main one. I draw attention to the characters of the characters, which from season to season are becoming more multifaceted, and I also want to learn this.

    Well and so, on trifles, is reflected in work. If earlier I wrote the text about the new service, let's say, a few days, but now I have a few hours. This has ceased to be a problem at all. Just mastered technology, or developed competence, which is constantly coming in handy. Well, the speed of printing Russian letters has increased greatly.

    Book publishing

    I was often asked if any texts would be published on paper. At first, this goal deceived me, and I rushed to write letters to publishers a couple of times. There were two answers: “we do not see the commercial potential” and “do not reach, it needs to be improved”.

    There is no doubt that there is no commercial potential - I did not set myself such a goal.

    And “it is necessary to modify” contradicts my principle - I do not write to order. It’s necessary to take the text, put it in some kind of framework, so that it meets someone’s criteria, etc. What the hell is it for me?

    You can't earn a lot of money there, and the fussing is for half a year. I don’t have the goal of “becoming a man who published a paper book”, therefore, after thinking for a couple of hours, I decided that I didn’t need it. Here we have complete harmony with book publishers: they don’t need me, I don’t need them.

    If ever the reins fall, and I decide to publish something, I will do it at my own expense. It seems that it is not expensive.

    Text quality

    The quality of my texts is rather low, many have noticed it. I often make mistakes, and spelling, and punctuation, and what they are there.

    The reason is simple: I do not edit the texts. I don't even read them. I write, write, write, and when I add - I post it. This is what the Word emphasized to me in red or blue, then I correct it.

    At first I was worried about this. I thought I had to edit, I had to check, what kind of a farce was that. And then he made one startling discovery, and stopped worrying.

    The point is that, without reading my texts, I forget them very quickly. I literally do not remember what the article was written about six months ago. So, just about, in general terms.

    And then, once, by chance, having nothing to do, I read some of my old articles. And I liked her! Which, in general, is logical - if I write as I like, then I will like reading.

    Of course, I am not fond of this - this is a narcissism of some sort. About once a month I reread one of my old articles.

    I feel the same feelings when I accidentally come across some program I wrote a few years ago. You look, and you wonder - damn, how cool it is written! That was the time, the head worked, not what it is now!

    I like the feeling of being surprised at myself. In order not to lose it, I made two rules for myself. The first is not to edit articles. The second is not to reread too often, otherwise I will stop wondering.

    Try to re-read your old articles yourself. Could surprise yourself?

    Speed ​​summary

    So, I started writing this text in 8-10, I finish in 12-50. It's 4 h. 40 min. The text is 27,000 characters. It turns out, 5,800 characters per hour. I do not know much or little.

    Also popular now: