It really began when the company I was working at shut down, leaving me with a lot of free time on my hands. I started giving myself small projects to keep my mind sharp and quickly discovered that I was doing really complicated things that I feared I wouldn’t be able to remember later on. So, I started writing down exactly what I was doing and posted it to my fledgling web site. A former colleague read one and suggested I submit some work to coding magazines. I did exactly that and fairly rapidly I had articles up on major web development sites.
One of the sites I used to write for frequently was WebReference. I also was an avid reader of the site and happened upon an article explaining how one the other article writers had pooled her articles into a book that would be published soon. A light bulb went off on my head. A book is just a series of articles? Hell, I can do that.
I was stuck in a dead end job with lots of free time and a lack of creative avenues to keep my mind stimulated, so writing became my refuge. I’d run home after work and spend 2-3 hours writing. I had no idea what this book would be or what the topics would include, so I just resolved to write whatever came to my mind. And a lot came to my mind. Enough that I was writing every day after work and all day Saturday and Sunday. My mom would ask me every day (literally), “what are you doing on that computer?” And every day I’d answer, “I’m writing my book.” She would chuckle like one would when a five year old says he wants to be a fireman.
Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.