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“But what to write?!”

The question has been looping near the forefront of my thoughts for the last week or so. It’s my way of putting off something difficult, this blasted essay that I have to write for Holberton School about why I want to become a software engineer. I rationalize the procrastination with ease and stay the course of my day.

It’s not that I’m wasting time by not writing it. This scripting class at the community college is a handful and those trucks at work aren’t going to unload themselves. Nevertheless, I need to think of something a) great and b) soon. The eternity that will have passed between sign-up and the submission of the essay will not lend to a favorable first impression, and I’m toast if they ask me whether I actually decoded those messages in the last challenge.

So, what to write? A quote comes to mind:

At the end of the day, I just want to make shit. The medium is secondary.

An informational meeting with a local designer/developer produced this gem a few months back. A couple years my junior, this kid shared his insights with me over coffee as we touched on design, code, productivity and creative life. He’s a sculptor who got into web stuff in high school and got a job right out of college making shit for a firm here in town. I found his enthusiasm for his work infectious. The meeting marked an important step in my journey away from labor and toward the path of self-whateverization in that it was important to see how my second foray into higher education might land me a great job.

“But what to write?”

The loop continues in my mind while the rest of life carries on. I’ll get around to it soon…it’s not like I can afford to live there anyway. Between assertions of this sort of anti-productive garbage thought, I’m enjoying the stories I’m reading in Medium everyday. Finally, an intelligent (and sexy!) publishing platform that embraces the web’s holy democratic potential! Like any good aspiring software engineer/rockstar should, I subscribe to the tech and productivity categories to get on the fast track to accomplishing those ever-nearing #goals of mine. One day I’m scrolling through a story on Javascript best-practices while sipping a paper cup of joe in the break room at work when the familiar ba-diiiinnnggg of my inbox alerts me of a new email.

“Who the eff is Sylvain?” I wonder quietly, scanning the message preview. Reading on, I quickly decide that Sylvain must be Morpheus and that I have to get some serious wordage down tonight, (per the explicit invitation “Let’s do this today”). It’s an email from Holberton School prompting me to finish that essay from Level 1 that I’ve left undone for fourteen days. Four hours and a shower later, I’m writing my first Medium story.

The writing interface is gorgeous, clean and distraction-free. It makes me want to write! I haven’t scribed anything serious in a hot year or two but I’m already seeing the potential in Medium as an outlet for my countless brain-droppings that come across as too highfalutin for Facebook statuses. Even though I have to work again in a few hours, the journey toward clean, effective prose consumes me and propels me into the late night. After all, I just want to make shit.

I want to train to be a software engineer at Holberton School because I want to grow. I want to feed this fire inside, equip myself with state-of-the-art tools and exceed even my own expectations. I don’t know where it comes from but it’s the reason I’m here battering in this “medium-content-serif-font.” The process of creating, writing, producing, building is profoundly satisfying. It gives meaning to my breath. It defines me.

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