Red Green Repeat Adventures of a Spec Driven Junkie

Blog: Learning - Structure Thoughts

This is a series I am writing about blogging. It’s a reflection of the journey I have taken and highlights along the way.

I will go through the following topics related to my blogging journey in their own articles:

If you are not blogging, I hope these articles will inspire you start. If you are struggling with a weekly blog, I share my stumbles and that the results are worth it. If you blog and have tips on ways I can improve, please contact me, I welcome connecting with other writers and learning ways to improve.

This article will take you about three minutes to read.

Saloua Raouda Choucair - Structure With One Thousand Pieces

First Encounter

Growing up, my father said I should write more. At the time, that did not make sense to me. I wanted to get through engineering school and move on with my life. I couldn’t see the overlap of writing and engineering. So, I asked him: why?

To communicate

This made even less sense. To communicate is to speak. This baffled me even more. I didn’t follow up because I felt this was going down a rabbit hole with him, which I never got out of.

Second Encounter

The second time I encountered writing and thinking was in Andy Grove’s book: High Output Management. The book explains that writing is thinking. One would write a report, not for others to read, but for you to structure your thoughts on a topic.

Having to write reports in a company is so common, it’s become a bane of working at a company: “Ugh, I have to write a report that nobody will ready”

In a way, it’s exactly what my dad was saying all along.


After writing weekly here, I realize toughts in my head are mumble jumble.

  • Only when I get thoughts out of my head, I start to structure them.
  • When I WRITE them, they are visible.
  • When I EDIT them, they take shape.
  • When I FLOW, they have structure.

To be a good communicator, structure your thoughts. I am starting to see what my dad was talking about in writing to communicate.

With writing more, I am structuring it. I want things to flow in a logical manner for others to read and follow easily.

For Programming??

THis is fine if one is just wants to communicate (which is most of life), my younger self would ask: how does this apply to programming??

I am starting to tell new programmers now (who aren’t blogging):

Write how you’re going to solve the problem without code. If you can’t structure your thoughts in plain text, a computer language will be less forgiving.

At least this is a direct application of the writing idea to their immediate need.

At the same time, once you have your solution written out, you can show me or anyone else to evaluate.

For Presentations??

After attending McCormick Media presentation training class, I learned to make a good presentation, I have to write. This is how he uses writing to make a presentation:

  1. Start from a text based document tool.
  2. Write out ALL what you want to say on the topic.
  3. Edit
  4. Then and only then
  5. Start building the slides.

The thing that blew my mind was step 2 in making a great presentation: WRITING. Only by writing them out first, you can structure your thoughts.

What to Do?

At this point, I have discussed the benefits of writing to structuring your thoughts. Like young me would ask my dad: “How to structure your thoughts by writing??”

The answer my dad would give:

Write more.

In a way, find a way to write more, especially if it’s just for yourself and in a manner you hold yourself accountable to.