Coding Creatively & Killing Characters: A Weekly Update

I’m a nascent front end web developer, poet and current creative writing doctoral student at the University of Glasgow, learning how to code creatively without a background in computer science (here’s how I plan to break into tech).

Learn What’s Out there

I’ve been making progress learning how to code. FreeCodeCamp is exactly what I needed to get me started. It’s broken into tiny achievements, so I’m constantly feeling good about myself as I learn HTML, CSS and now Bootstrap. I’m loving it. It helps that I play the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 playlist as I work.

I’m still working full time and doing a PhD full time, too, not to mention raising a wild animal (I mean, a two-year-old Collie + Jack Rusell pup).

Dr Watson

But I’m still managing to code a little bit every week and have actually been making progress. Once I complete the Bootstrap lessons, it’ll be time for me to create my own website. I got here not by working very HARD per se, just very consistently.

Consistency is the ruling principle of my life. Basically, my philosophy is: if you do a little bit of something every day (or every week, or whatever), one day you’ll wake up and you’ll have written a novel, coded a website, or raised a well-mannered dog. Writing is my number one priority, so I get up early and write 500 words a (work) day before going to the office. In six months, I’ll have a full draft of a novel, and it won’t be rushed, and I’ll have had a blast writing it. I only carve out two to three hours a week to practice coding. But by the end of the year, I’ll have my front end web development certificate with FreeCodeCamp.

While listening to CodePen’s CodePen Radio Podcast, I discovered something cool: Creative Coding Club.

They host challenges every month to create projects based on a theme. This month is ‘Hot and Sticky.’ You can view the cool results of past challenges on CodePen. It’s pretty inspiring. One day, I’ll be able to take part in the challenges.

And I really love the idea of coding creatively!

Showcase What I’ve Already Done

Check out the new website for Uncovered Artistry (designed by moi using Wix) to showcase the new, beautiful summer products (all, of course, handmade by abuse survivors and gorgeously photographed by the talented AK Thaysen. Check out her stuff here. ).

I really struggled to find a suitable video for the home page — I’m a real sucker for videos these days, especially using Wix strips to add just a bit of movement to a site, so when I visited the westernly Scottish Isle of Gigha earlier this week I made a point to take a few videos. They don’t really match UA’s summer vibe at the moment, but I may make use of them later! Feel free to grab them for your own site.

Also, I’ve hit the 50,000 word mark with my novel the Grief Nurse!

I’ve only been working on it since March, so I’m feeling great about what I’ve accomplished. The story is set in a (fictional) stately home, inspired in part by Scotland’s Mount Stuart mansion on the Isle of Bute. My recent trips to Bute and Gigha have been pretty inspirational.

Isle of Gigha
Mt Stuart, Isle of Bute