Technical writing: how long does it take you to write a post?

twitter logo github logo ・1 min read

I was recently writing a post about making an app with React. The app is quite small, therefore I was surprised that it took me 3 evenings (approx. 2-3 hours each) to write the process up and one evening for proofreading/fixes).

I was wondering how long on average does it take people to write a post?

A follow up question would be: if you write about building an app/webpage/etc, do you

  1. Build it while writing the post
  2. Build the app first and then write the process up
  3. Do not bother with building the app at all and checking that the code actually works :D
twitter logo DISCUSS (5)
markdown guide
 

I'll be writing my first technical post this week and while I'm not scared to do so, I'm definitely worried it will take a while, as simple as it may be.

Having to write an article with crystal-clear steps including snippets or pictures of code is something that I'll be double-checking along they way and proof-reading probably 5 times when it's "finished."

 
 

I've found that a) yes, it always takes several times longer than I think it will and b) both your 1 and 2 options are hard. I prefer to build the app alongside the writing, but inevitably will change my mind about something and need to make sure the post stays in sync with the actual code. When coming back to write it up after the fact, though, it's not always easy to remember what order things need to go in. I like trying to make sure my walkthrough-style posts have points where the user can pause and execute the current state to make sure things are working, but that takes extra care to get right, and often "placeholder" code along the way which doesn't end up in the final product, which makes the post even longer to write (and read).

I guess I don't have any advice, I just agree that it's harder than it looks.

 

Agree that both options are hard. What I ended up doing was to build a working app first and then build it piece by piece again while writing up to make sure the code fragments actually work. Guess that's one reason why it took much longer :D But I wanted to make sure that the code works as expected at every step of the tutorial.

Yeah, I wasn't really asking for an advice, just wondering if others had the same experiences : )

Classic DEV Post from May 10

If you could change one thing about learning to code, what would it be?

If you could wave a magic wand and make your biggest challenge when you were lear...

Alex K. profile image
Full Stack/ Front End web developer. React/Redux, Styled components, Node.js, Django.