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Why I Write

Why I Write

“I’d prefer not to.”
Bartelby the Scriverner, Herman Melville

It’s hard, writing. More than a few times, I’ve been asked when I’d write a book about cybersecurity, the profession in which I find myself. My answer has always been, “Socrates never wrote. Why should I?” But Plato did, so I put words on pages and publish at every opportunity.

Here are some of the reasons I do.
    • Once I get started, it’s fun. When I’m in the habit of writing daily, I find it difficult to stop writing. Thoughts invade my consciousness and demand that they be written down. Writing changes from being a chore to a compulsion.
    • I’ve always enjoyed writing lists. I’m good at making them. This article is a list. Every paragraph can be thought of as a list, every essay or chapter is like a list of paragraphs, and so on.
    • Sometimes I have to write so that I can serve clients. And the more I write, the easier the hard work of writing deliverables becomes.
    • Writing eases my impostor syndrome, a topic I wrote about last week.
    • It’s an excellent way to pass the time productively while waiting for things to happen.
    • If you write well and publish, people think you’re smart. I want people to think I’m smart. I get paid better if they do.
    • Since I’m in the cybersecurity game, I get a lot of no-shows and last-minute cancellations due to other peoples’ cyber incidents. If I have 15 unplanned minutes, I can crank out a few lines of text or more.
    • There are things I find myself saying repeatedly. Some, like the origin story of Nearshore Cyber, take a lot of time when added up. So I write what I’ve been saying and don’t have to repeat myself as often.
    • I write to find out what’s in my head. And sometimes, by failing to write coherently, I realize that I’m being an idiot about my topic.
    • People have said I’m good at it. I like being good at things. I especially like being told I’m good at something.
    • As a consultant, I’m expected to share what I know, including questions I haven’t yet answered. Writing is part of the deal.
    • All of my heroes are writers. Maybe I’m somebody’s hero, too; I’m not sure. If I don’t publish, I may never know.
    • Words become phrases, phrases become sentences, sentences become paragraphs, paragraphs become articles, articles become chapters, and chapters may eventually become books. I like books.
    • My writings are part of my legacy. They are among the things I’ll leave behind for my family, friends, and community after the inevitable finally comes.