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Writing a Book

The past couple of months I've been asked at least twice now whether I was willing to write a book. It's no secret that I love to write -- after all they got to me through my blogs. I don't think of myself as a great writer, I just happen to write a lot I guess (and edit myself out of oblivion). I've been trained (kinda) to write essays and do creative writing when I was in high school. This is the kind of thing I enjoyed doing throughout my high school years. I'm definitely thankful to all my teachers who've encouraged me to keep improving and just keep writing. I personally hold books to very high regard and this is why I've turned down all the offers to write a book. I don't see myself as someone who has a lot of original things to say or as an expert on anything. However, I then find this video which is totally changing my mind.
This isn't something I've endeavored to do in my life. However what I have endeavored to do is to make a difference in a lot of people's lives. I intend to leave a positive mark in the world by solving problems that I feel really passionate about. It just happens that I love computers and programming computers -- and I would love to share what I know to a lot more people than just those reading my blogs.

I'm inspired by the possibilities now available to everyone who wants to pursue their dreams and make things happen in this world. I especially love that there are tools now that enable people to do what they love and reach as many people as possible through the Internet. Now everyone who has a dream can reach for the stars, dream big, and make a difference in the world no matter how little.

I think I'm going to start slowly with this endeavor. I think having something else to do for the rest of the year would be interesting. I'm probably going to write about stuff I already know about (C++ network programming). It won't probably be a full blown reference book, and it may probably be something really simple and short. There's something about a small book that really appeals to me partly because I'm not really interested in reading long books either. Probably something in under 100 pages would be nice.

There are a few options now for self-publishing which is nice (as I won't even try going for the big publishing houses) and I'm hoping it may be more efficient for me to do it this way. I need to do a little more research though on whether the shipping costs would be prohibitive if I'm going to be sending copies to parts of the world where I don't reside in (postage from Australia for example is not cheap).

The question becomes "why" am I really thinking of doing this and I've had an epiphany watching the video above. Even though I won't be writing a children's book, I'm thinking about my daughter and what kind of world she's going to grow up in. I, a father, want to be able to share what I know with more C++ programmers doing network programming (or people who might do network programming with C++) so that my daughter may have a better world to grow up into. I see the potential of getting better applications that know how to deal with the internet from a C++ perspective.

This has been why I love working at Google and this is now also why I'm actually thinking of doing this. I don't know whether I'm going to succeed in reaching a lot of people through a book, I don't know if I'm going to be able to influence how people think or write code, but I'm willing to try to find out if I can. Hopefully if it happens that I can, then I'd be thankful to be able to share the knowledge.

In the meantime, I realize I could have used the time I wrote this post in writing part of the book. However, I've always liked sharing how I think and what I think.

Hopefully the book I'll write will be something people will find worth reading.



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