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Writing in my sleep

When I first got into IT full time 10 years ago, I noticed that my mind was constantly solving programming problems or thinking of programs I could write. If I had someone else to talk to at the time, I was a normal human, or at least as normal as I can be. As soon as I was walking the dog or driving my car alone, my mind usually went into programming mode.

I guess my brain was telling me that I was definately working in the right field. I also loved the fact that I could go to sleep at night with a seeminly unsolveable problem and awaken the next morning knowing the solution. I have heard many other programmers say the same.

As I have moved from the developer role to the DBA role, my job involves less programming. I love learning about and working with SQL Server, but I don't have as much of an obsession with it as I had with VB back in the day.

Two years ago I was working on the SSIS book. I only had two chapters to write, but those chapters had to become my priority outside of my job. One weekend during the process, I worked on an article on parameters for SSC. I probably did need a break from the book, but I felt a bit guilty spending the time on an article that I could write when I had more time.

All I can say is that article was in my brain and was screaming to get out. It ended up being the most successful article I have ever written and recently made SSC's most popular list. I can't say that the article is perfect, but I hope it has helped some programmers learn to pass parameters and start using procs instead of dynamic SQL.

So now I have a different obsession: writing. While driving or walking, I think of articles I could write and stories I want to tell. I believe the weekend that the parameter article was demanding to be written, I became a writer.

Advice from Aunt Kathi

Kathi Kellenberger is a Sr. Consultant with Pragmatic Works. She is an author, speaker and trainer.


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