Matt, over at Standalone Sysadmin this morning tweeted a link to a fantastic article that probably helps to explain why I feel driven to write something every day. Across my NetWorker and Cloud blogs, perhaps now this as well, and my other writing, I try to write something every day, without fail. It may be just jumping in and adding more to a draft (of which I’ll usually have a half dozen to dozen running at any time), or it may be adding a chapter to a book, and sometimes it’ll just be one or two lines here or there, but on an average day if I haven’t written something other than a basic tweet or Facebook update, I feel like I’ve underachieved.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I wrote a book when I was 12. (It was crap, but over the years I keep returning to it because the ideas were fun and they’ve matured nicely. Maybe one day – still a few years before 40, who knows.) In eschewed the traditional computer science path both at high school and University, having neither an aptitude for nor an interest in maths, physics or chemistry. Instead, at high school most of my subjects were around English and History, then on at University I did the mandatory math subjects, and enjoyed all the computer science subjects I took (bar one, but that was a boring-as-hell lecturer who had all the enthusiasm of a sloth on valium), but I loved my philosophy courses, because they were about thinking and writing.
I write documentation all the time, whether I’m paid to or not. I wrote a technical book and blogging grabs some of my time every day. Of late I’ve hit onto an idea for a science fiction book that I’m working on when the muse strikes, and what I’ve done so far, and the (hopefully reasonably unique) approach I’m taking is something that really excites me.
Writing isn’t, in any sense of the word for me, a hobby. A hobby is something you do in your spare time. This is something I make the time for. I love technology, I love my job, and I go nuts without access to a computer or an internet connection, but they’re all just enablers for my long-as-I-can-remember desire to write. Maybe even as a hangover from having a serious speech impediment as a kid, and having to learn to read while I was learning to speak, I still, to this day, find writing a far more accurate and efficient medium than speaking.
So if you’re ever wondering why I’m verbose, or a stickler for dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, that’s a quick summary – it drives me, and it keeps my brain engaged, and it keeps me writing.