Today LeanPub published it's 25th episode of the LeanPub Podcast, and in it, Len Epp asked me about a wide range of topics, including AI, the impact of smartphones on interpersonal relationships, how I got started in computing, and how I self-published a bestseller, Ansible for DevOps, on LeanPub.
A few decent quotes from the interview:
[On how I learned technical/tutorial writing:] Go sit down, sit through all the tutorials, and then write up a guide that will help people to quickly get up to speed on it”. Because the manuals you get with the manufacturer are pretty much junk.
As a technical person I hate the idea of DRM on a book. Because it’s like, when I go to a bookstore and buy a book, I don’t have like a locking mechanism that I have to unlock to read it.
As a writer, you have to motivate yourself to write something. Even if it’s horrible and you’re going to throw it all out, if you’re writing something your brain keeps going, and you keep moving forward instead of just stopping. And I know that from writing all the big blog posts I’ve done, and all the articles I’ve written. Even if it’s only a 500 word article, you can get stuck and then you just give it up. But if you just keep writing - I think there was a blog post I did a couple of weeks ago. I wrote it, four times I think in full, and deleted it each time saying, “This is just terrible.” And then finally it’s like, “Ah, there were go. I have it. I feel that that’s the right way.”
Every time I've done an interview like this, I end up feeling like I stumbled through at the end... but I realize it's not as bad as I thought, just like with public speaking! According to the transcription, I definitely had my share of likes and ums :)
I post this here mostly because I want to keep reminding myself of my motivations for writing, my motivation for trudging through the hard stuff and not slowing down when the words don't flow freely. Hopefully it inspires someone else too!