what is to write


after snooping around in static site generators, templates and design patterns for digital gardens, i notice certain patterns for implementation

most of these templates err on the side of conservatism possibly? there seems to be a solid line between writing and coding. Writing is to be done in Notion, markdown, .txt, obsidian — separate from the code and the website itself.

the separation of the writing from the showing makes a “translation layer” necessary. this feels bad! the need for translation inherently limits creative expression. If you write in A and translate to B, you are limited only what’s possible in both mediums. Something that exists solely as A can’t be translated as B and vice versa.

the earliest forms of writings were ones where the writing and showing happened with the same medium (clay tablets, cave paintings, etc). Is there the possibility to then write “natively” in code? Instead of writing english articles, I write .tsx?

lets assess some pros and cons of this:

  • pro: fine granular control over creativity, ability to create custom experience unique to your writing
  • con: lose some amount of abstraction (debatable depending on your code structure)
  • con: higher cost of effort to start writing — random shit will probably go wrong, a lot more intimating than spinning up apple notes
  • pro: no need to create/find a translation layer!
  • pro: less pressure to adhere to specific design patterns and the limitations of those patterns. write however the fuck you want
  • con: lose ability to automate

the ideal system would be a powerful, native medium that allows for easy setup, writing, and automation. my hypothesis is that these metrics are inversely relational since i haven’t seen something that satisfies all of them. for smaller sites (like 99% of gardens and digital portfolios), erring on a low-level native medium would probably be a better choice. if you are exceptionally comfortable with code, native writing may also suite you better.