Nick Ang profile picture

Nick Ang

My superpower is a short Time to Prose

Of all the trickle-down benefits that I get from my innate desire to write blogs, the most valuable seems to be the ability to write decent prose in a short time.

Having a short thought-to-prose time, I’ve come to realise, is extremely helpful in a world where a lot of work communication takes place on Slack/MS Teams/Basecamp and email.

A few recent examples to illustrate the value of this in the workplace:

  • I can usually write in-between-decision summaries that get every stakeholder on the same page in less than 10 minutes.
  • I can subtly insert steering guidance into any message I write without appearing to be doing so, which helps me gently direct people towards outcomes that I want (or that the organisation wants me to achieve).
  • I can write clear and concise meeting / “huddle” summaries and post them in the right places in under 3 minutes from my bullet-point notes.
  • I can write a tactful feedback message to a colleague and send it off via DM in under 3 minutes, and I’d know I’ve done enough for it to land well.
  • I can write, edit, and confidently publish a whole integration guide for a new product, which I was heavily involved in implementing, in less than a week with minimal involvement of other software engineers and product/marketing managers.
  • I can conjure up analogies (especially humorous ones) in seconds, which helps diffuse tension in discussions, builds a sense of camaraderie, and provides scaffolding to help people think more clearly.
  • I can estimate the effort of producing a work of prose ahead of time reasonably accurately, allowing me to plan my time and that of my team better.

All this from roughly 8 years of casual blogging!

The revolutions I’ve made around the thought -> draft -> edit -> publish cycle have turned indigestible wheat grains into ready-to-bake, digestible flour. (See what I mean by analogies?) At this point, I feel like I’ve internalised years of lessons that people who don’t write regularly are still slowly learning, and it honestly makes me feel like I have a superpower.

Okay, good for you, Nick. What’s your point here?

Simple. I wrote this to share with you what I’ve just realised: blogging has helped me compress my time from thought to prose significantly, and that has in turn helped me to do a lot of things better at work. And I wish it upon everyone to have this superpower.

Nick Ang profile picture
Husband, dad, and software engineer that writes. Big on learning something everyday and trying to have fun before the lights go out.
contact  |  subscribe