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Writing an article - don't be afraid to get started!

Writing at article for SQL Server Central tends to be a very rewarding experience. Every chance I get, I encourage others to try their hand at putting forth something. Not only does it serve as a resume builder, but it gives back something to the community, helps develop knowledge in the topic being written about, and leaves a sense of accomplishment when you see your article as a headline on the front page. I first started writing for swynk.com after emailing Brian Knight about the possibility and receiving a wonderful email back about how to get started. One of my first articles generated some comments from Steve Jones and they were encouraging and constructively offered some points where he had a different opinion. It made a huge impact on me that guys like Brian and Steve would take the time to help me write an article and then help me get better at the craft. I remember taking that article, which dealt with service accounts for SQL Server, and immediately re-writing it to show the constrasting view points.

I was reminded of this when I saw a post on the Security Basics mailing list (@ securityfocus.com) asking how to go about writing a security whitepaper. One of the first replies that came back was one similar in attitude and advice to the emails I received from Brian and Steve. The post started with these words, "Actually, it's quite simple. To write an effective whitepaper, you will need the following prior to beginning your writing endeavor:" and ends with these, "If you remember these simple but useful tips, you will go far... ;)) Good luck!" The post even included some sample topics to think about writing about and some topics to keep far, far away from.

If you've ever considered writing an article, I recommend reading this post: Re: Writing Papers on Information Security. It has good, solid advice on how to approach the task. Probably the most important piece of advice it gives is this:

" (10) Write a whitepaper because you WANT to dit (sic), not because to HAVE to, or are after money, power or control. Those are the WRONG reasons for writing a whitepaper."

K. Brian Kelley - Databases, Infrastructure, and Security

IT Security, MySQL, Perl, SQL Server, and Windows technologies.


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