In the Beginning…

As I stated in the post titled Writing a Technical Book, “I am often asked for more information about writing a technical book.” In a follow-up post titled, One Way to Write a Technical Book, I state, [here] “I share details of my approach to writing a technical book.”

People reading these posts have asked questions about my process – how I go about doing the writing that will eventually become a book. I answered this question in part during an interview for Malathi Mahadevan’s (@sqlmal | Curious About Data blog) book titled Data Professionals at Work (which is a book that explores the habits of a handful of folks in the SQL Server Community). In this post I share the beginnings of writing, for me…


In the beginning of the writing process, I begin.

A tautology? Maybe. It may be circular as well, but there are differences between the tautological and circular. Climbing back up the rabbit hole:

(click to enlarge)

This is the beginning of a book.

Will you see this chapter in print? Maybe. Will it read as it now reads? No. It will most likely be rewritten – more than once. Sometimes the edits are themselves circular in that it is edited to read one way and then edited to read as originally written.

Writing is funny like that.

Does that bother you? Does repetitious doing and then undoing – digging a hole and then filling it in – get under your skin? Does the inefficiency of it all drive you up the wall? If yes, writing may not be for you.

If writing is not for you, are you less of a technologist? Professional? Person? Goodness no! It’s just one thing that’s not your thing.

Know Why You’re Writing

In One Way to Write a Technical Book, I state, “I write because I love to write.” For me, that’s a powerful and pregnant statement. It means I cannot be plied with money or promises of fame (or clicks or page views). It means I write for me.

I find writing for me freeing. I believe being free results in me writing better; I know it results in me writing more. More is not always better except when it is better and writing more is better than writing less. One may will always edit.

I think why you write is the most important aspect of writing.

One Last Thing

If you find yourself thinking, “Someone should write more about / document this topic in plainer language / with better / more complete / real-world examples,” maybe that someone is you.


If you want to write, begin writing.

Don’t worry about the rest, not now. Just start. Start a blog. Start a manuscript. Start a channel. Put something out there.

In the beginning, begin.

Andy Leonard

Christian, husband, dad, grandpa, Data Philosopher, Data Engineer, Azure Data Factory, SSIS guy, and farmer. I was cloud before cloud was cool. :{>


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