I built this site because I wanted a place I could delve deeper into the creative constructs that writing uses to communicate stories and ideas. To pick apart the many ways design and creative writing are the same, and how one can help the other, and because really in the end, I wanted a place to put things.
So who am I, and what do I know about anything?
I’m a Senior User Experience Designer, which means I spend my days problem-solving, studying user behaviour and sometimes actually designing and doing User Interface design. I have been in the creative industry for around 17 years and have worked on many high-end projects. I have a bunch of personal clients plus a couple of side projects (Author Interviews being one), but one of my more recent passions is creative writing, and I have just completed my first fantasy novel. You can read the beginning at https://ringlander.com.
Why creative writing?
Creative writing, for me, is creation in its purest form. It has always interested me, and finally, in my 30s I had the time to develop my writing so I could use it to communicate creatively — something I had already been doing with visual design. I found the step into writing very natural, and immediately found I had a style, and a skill around description (the visual element). I did the only thing with it I knew; I wrote a book.
So what writing tips will you be blogging about?
Whilst writing my first book, I discovered that through building stories and character arcs I was going through the same steps of conceptualisation, wireframing and build that I was using elsewhere. The techniques and mediums were obviously different, but I found I could apply design thinking techniques to writing which helped create an understanding. It helped me unlock a door to my imagination, and I was able to pour it out onto page as almost as easily as designing a website.
Conceptualising is all well and good, but creative writing still requires an in depth knowledge of how language works, so I began researching the techniques and styles of my favourite writers to see how they approached it. Those notes are currently sitting doing nothing in Evernote and I decided it was about time I published and took insight from them.
If you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing with anything, please comment. Nobody should ever stop learning.
What sort of articles you can expect
- UX (User Experience)
- UI (User Interface)
- Writing (Scene-building, character development, style, technique)
- Back-end code and logic (PHP and functions)
A little more about what I do
What is the difference between User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI)?
User Experience is how a journey feels and flows. User Interface is how a journey looks and works. Applied to website or app design, UX would be the order of entire screens like: checkout, payment, signup etc. User Experiences are those little moments of joy, like the famous Domino’s app which shows the smiling face alongside the pizza tracker. But they’re not always high-tech. Sometimes the best UX solution is simply moving an internal business process closer to source to speed up production. UX is the place where goals, feel, and journey converge. In the app analogy the UI on the other hand would be how the screens look, how the logo appears, what colours are being used, typography design, images…it’s a fun job.
Our UX team is small so I’ve been able to branch out into Digital Marketing, which is a bridge between UX/UI design and income streams.
Ok, but why is income important?
This is almost a moo point (a cow’s opinion – Thanks Joey) because it’s pretty clear why we need to make money. It’s the driving force behind most of the things we do. Self sustaining is usually what I shoot for — as long as the project pays for itself, then it’s worth my time. Hosting and management costs are negligible these days as the price of storage continues to plummet. Your biggest outlay will always be your time and my time is the most is the precious thing I own.
How do I make my project more than just “self sustaining”?
Well, isn’t that just the eternal question! It is the thing that keeps us moving forward, and the thing I pick at every day.
The only really acceptable answer I can offer is that there is a fine balance between a passion project being fun and being financially rewarding. Too often artistic passions are overlooked and hard to monetise, but that is offset by just how much satisfaction they produce. Sooner or later though you might find yourself at a crossroads deciding whether or not that project still deserves your time. On a grander scale this might even lead you to give it up and pursue a new career.
At that point I would say, dig your fucking heels in. Don’t give it up until you absolutely have to. The ones who succeed and make money from their ventures are the ones who forge ahead until their fingers are naut but boney stumps. It’s our passion projects that stop the madness seeping in and taking over.
And there it is.
I hope you enjoy what you read here, and if you take anything away at all, then this little passion project has already paid for itself many times over.