Dave Thomas, co-author of “The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master” among many others, has been writing a series of blog posts, PragDave: Writing a Book, giving some excellent advice on how to write a book. True to his pragmatic roots, it is the best, most practically useful advice I’ve ever read on the topic. The link above takes you to the collection of posts in the series, ordered in typical blog style with the latest at the top and the earliest at the bottom. I suggest you take the time to scroll to the bottom and read them in order.
The first addresses the all important question of “Why?” I’ve long wanted to write a book for all the wrong reasons but have only recently begun to considering writing one for more defensible reasons. I’ve gotten to the point where I really like to write. I realize that writing is hard work but I’m certainly going to give it a try. I have decided, however to start by writing shorter pieces. Writing articles will give me a chance to “find my voice” while I wait for the inspiration for the book that must be written to strike me. I’m passionate about a number of technical subjects. I just need to refine my focus some.
The series goes on to give tips on how to read your own writing with a critical eye, how to accept reviewer criticism, along with a number of other extremely practical pieces of advice on successful writing practice. I’ve resolved to try them all myself. I’ll be using this blog as a place to capture early drafts of essays that may grow into articles or books. Watch this space for examples.
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