First things first: There was a cupcake tree!
Three speakers each presented on a unique topic. The highlight of the night, for me, was a talk given by Monica Guzman, a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. She gave a humorous talk on why “writing sucks,” and offered us tips on how to improve our writing environment, to carefully select music (or, in the case of some, ambient coffeeshop noise) to help us focus, and to listen to our own voices.
As a writer and beginning coder, I was intrigued by how Monica’s suggestions on enhancing creativity and productivity could apply to both. At times, when I write, I sink into a “zone,” barely aware of my hands flying over the keyboard, blinking and mildly confused when I’m finally interrupted. Similarly, when I began taking coding classes a year ago, I lost track of time when gritting my teeth over a bug in my program, feeling stunned when I looked up and realized an hour had gone by.