Writing as Thinking
An eight-week course for technologists — introducing writing practices for thinking, learning and leading.
As technologists, we craft knowledge. Regardless of our role, we weave other people’s thinking (and experiences) into our own. We construct recommendations that we believe have value. We try to envision what is not yet visible and bring it to life.
We also get lost in the forest of disparate opinions. We go down promising paths and find dead ends. We discover a viable path … and almost nobody follows. We feel like we are screaming into the wind.
Crafting knowledge is constructing something whole and actionable from abstract ideas. We do this by creating conceptual integrity. Unfortunately, we are truly terrible at creating or maintaining conceptual integrity … unless we are supported by practices.
Fortunately, writing is the practice of conceptual integrity.
Writing practices help us to:
- strengthen metacognition – awareness and understanding of our own thought process.
- inquire and explore new insights.
- integrate disparate experiences and views.
- focus on how to think, rather than what to think.
- structure our learning and navigate uncertainty.
- synthesize knowledge, experience and sound judgement into well-reasoned recommendations.
- think well, together.
Thinking well together generates better outcomes. When people cooperate to strengthen their reasons for acting, they make better decisions. The way we engage with people’s writing is the way we think together. When we structure spaces where knowledge can grow and flourish, we provide integrative leadership … the kind that creates true and lasting change.
Introduction to the three practices
For eight weeks, we’ll practice free writing, focused writing and synthesizing other people’s thinking (aka learning).
Exploring multiple approaches to cultivating metacognition.
Focused writing practice
We can’t think if we can’t concentrate, so we’ll create space for focus in our daily life.
Synthesizing and learning
Designing your own curriculum and growing your thinking practice.
Designing feedback loops
Including others in your thinking process without derailing it.
Crafting recommendations in support of an action, idea or theory.
Strengthening the reasons
Improving the quality of your systemic reasoning.
(Re)structuring thinking, together
Creatively adapting your recommendations for various audiences.
Diana was an actor, writer and independent bookstore owner. She was selected for the Stonecoast Writer’s Conference and studied creative nonfiction writing with Diana Hume George.
Fifteen+ years ago, she quit her communications career to pursue a career in tech. She has built software, led teams and architected systems for clients like The Economist, The Wikimedia Foundation and Stanford.
Along the way, she discovered … technology architecture is a communications career. So now she combines her skills to teach, architect knowledge systems and help organizations transform.
Diana has taught workshops in coding and thinking all over the world. She lives in the bountiful Hudson Valley (New York, USA).