Thoughts on writing

To say I’ve always enjoyed writing would be a lie. In school, we were forced to write and, like most teenagers, I did what I had to do but never really enjoyed it. I wrote research papers, opinion papers, book reports, and essays. I’m sure at some point I was even forced to write poetry. Once I started working as a software developer, my writing turned to requirements and design documents, and sometimes to user documentation.

It wasn’t until the early 2000’s when I started a blog that I began to enjoy writing. The blog was mostly about technical issues I ran into, but sometimes it was about experiences I had as a consultant or about a book I read or something going on in the news. I really enjoyed the outlet and received good feedback on many of my posts.

My “to do” list has included “write more” on it for a long time. That’s all it said — write more. I never knew quite what it meant. Did it mean more blog posts? Did it mean writing in a journal? Did it mean I should write more emails or more documentation at work? I blogged a little. I also filled many journals over the years, but that pesky “write more” kept coming back up. Sure, I had ideas, but none of them grabbed my attention.

In his book “Weinberg on Writing,” Jerry Weinberg said, “Never attempt to write something you don’t care about.” Recently, after dealing with some silliness at work and then listening to a podcast, it hit me! I had my idea! I also realized that I needed to go big or go home. Either WRITE something or shut the fuck up about it.

Given all that, I’ve decided to write a book. Yup, a book. I said “go big or go home,” right? Well, this is it. I have an idea I’m passionate about (ugh…I hate that word), and I have the plan to make it a reality. I’ve already started and have been making decent progress. It’s what I look forward to working on before work, at lunch, and after work. It’s grabbed my attention as nothing else has in a long time.

As I was laying in bed a few nights ago, I realized that I wanted to capture the experience of actually writing the book, not just the book itself. I’m planning a series of blog posts, with this being the first. The posts won’t necessarily be content from the book but will be my thoughts and feelings about the actual writing. I want to talk about my process and things that are working for me to get this project done. I also want to talk about some of the things I’m starting to realize about myself, how I work, and what being productive means.

The book will be self-published through LeanPub unless some publisher sees this and wants to talk. I hope to have a public version available sometime in September.

What’s the book about?

It’s about something I know really well — the 14 years I spent as an independent consultant. I’m approaching it like an expanded version of the workshop I delivered at conferences between 2010 and 2014. I’ve received great feedback on the idea, AND on the content I have written so far.

But wait. Don’t you work for The Man now?

For now, yes, but I still have all this knowledge and experience combined with hindsight that I want to get out of my head! It’s as much for me as for anyone else.