I've contributed to the development community in many ways, be it speaking at conferences, writing technical blog posts, getting involved in conferences as volunteer or part of the crew, or helping with Hackatons and Open Hacks. However, writing a book has been in my todo list for quite a while, and honestly, I've been afraid to start due to various reasons, mainly because I heard how much time and energy you need to put into it.
Regardless, I set it as a goal in 2021 and after a few months working on it, voila, it's now listed on Amazon to be published early next year. I am so excited about it and thought to share my experience and how I reached this milestone.
Writing a book might seem like a far fetched goal, in fact there are many smart and talented people out there writing great technical books on various topics which become best sellers. So you might be asking yourself why would I even think about it.
However, before we go further let me tell you a few things:
- Anyone can learn to write a book, and I mean anyone!
- If you like writing technical content, be it blog posts or even documentation, you can pull this off easier than you think.
So let's go back to why you should write a book. I would share my own reasons, but you might find them relatable too.
You might be good in a subject and have worked with it for a long time. You might even not have worked with it but be very passionate about it and wanted to share what you learn with others to help them succeed. For this exact reason, I believe it's important to think about writing a book if you have enough in your mind to make it work.
I have read books before and they have helped me reach where I am because I've always progressed as a self-thought individual rather than being academic or even as a trainee. So it was important for me to give it back somehow and finally it happened, think about it.
From a professional perspective, writing a book will add to your creditability and establish you as an expert in that field. Who knows, it might also help you land a great job, think about your interviewer when you tell them you have a book on the subject and how positively it can affect the process.
If you have a todo list and have some goals for yourself, why not put writing a book in there too. Think about how accomplished you feel when you actually do it. You will tackle a new challenge and prove to yourself that nothing is impossible if you put your energy into it.
Writing a book can help you learn a lot in a specific subject. When you are writing a book, it becomes important that you validate your knowledge and back everything with facts and data. During this process you will learn new things in every step of the way and that to me is worth all the time and energy you put into it.
Not every goal is about money, but if you can make a few extra bucks publishing your book, why not. You have put your time on it and getting rewards in form of a currency (😎) can be very helpful to anybody.
Now that I mentioned my reasons, think about what else and let me know, I am keen to hear yours too. Enough about reasons, let's talk about the process.
It is no secret that writing a book requires discipline and good time management. But let me tell you it needs a little bit more than that, in my case anyway. You might have to put extra effort or be a bit more proficient than me, so take this with a grain of salt.
First thing you need to do is to find a topic, but you can't find any topic. You need to find something that you're good at it, and you really believe it's important to share it with others. In my case Azure Bicep is a new tool, there are not many books written on it, and I am really passionate about how it can help people achieve more by doing less.
If you want to publish your book, you also need to find a topic where there are not many books available by other writers on it.
It's important to have an outline to be able to tell a story. Yes, you heard me right, even a technical book needs a story if you want it to be effective. You need a beginning, middle and end which takes your readers on a journey. Start with simples, then move to advanced areas and then finish off by some best practices or something that compliments your points and helps them a few extra steps.
I can't emphasis enough how important it is to read what you write first. If you feel you're biased, get somebody else to read it and give you feedback. Sometimes we don't realise how we fall into trap of making assumptions and the book turns out to be useless because of that.
If you are a full time employee like me, you need to set a schedule for yourself and make it a habit. Lock it in your calendar and make sure it's a time with minimal disruptions. I used one hour every night from 10pm to 11pm when my kids were in bed and I had already finished my dad duties. But I kept it like that for 4 months until I finished the book and boy that helps.
If that doesn't work for you, you can set a goal for how many words need to write each day, week, months, etc.
Books are different that blog posts in a sense that they need to be credible. Having grammar errors or spelling mistakes will look really bad, so use a software which helps you proofread your writing.
And that's all I did to be able to be here writing this post.
It can become a really hard job even from start, so keep yourself motivated. If you face any setbacks or challenges, try to positively face them and work your way around solving those slowly and steadily.
Reward yourself, give yourself a little treat at the end of every chapter, or section. This definitely helped me, so it will probably help you too.
I hope this has motivated you to at list think about the possibility of wiring a book. Anyway, I didn't talk about the book itself, so read on.
Infrastructure as code with Azure Bicep is a book which takes you on a journey from what Azure Bicep is, to how it works and its syntax. Then you learn about all the bits and pieces to be able to write maintainable, reusable, modular templates to be able to deploy your resources into your Azure environment with confidence. It also covers the authoring experience and how amazing it is to work with it from Visual Studio Code and its extension.
Then it covers how to use it in your CI/CD pipelines both on Azure DevOps and GitHub actions. And at last we will cover some advanced topics to add that extra bit of tidbits which makes you stand out when writing infrastructure as code such as some best practices and patterns when deploying multiple environments.
So keep an eye out and support me and my book if you can 😍🙏🏽.