This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for some time and one of the hardest. I’m not sure where to begin, so I’ll start somewhere.
Some of you may know I’ve been working on the book Mission Critical SQL Server for a long time … way too long. Sometimes the most well intentioned plans take a left turn at Albuquerque. Let me explain.
Change, Change, Change
I wanted to write the spiritual successor to my SQL Server 2005 book – one big honkin’ volume that would be the reference for all things business continuity. In theory it was an awesome idea.
At the time I started writing there was no Linux, virtualization was still on the rise, and not many were using any cloud provider. We all know the landscape today; so much has changed. That has had its own negative as well as positive impact. There are completed parts that I’ve probably written over again or revised four or five times but have never seen the light of day because every time I thought I was there, something else needed to be added. Multiply that over multiple operating systems, SQL Server versions, and environments (physical, virtual, and cloud) … it became paralyzing.
I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve stared at a screen with Word up and nothing was coming out. Perfection is the enemy of done.
At some point in the process, the book became an albatross and quite frankly, I felt a lot of shame around it not being done. The more time went on, the bigger the shame. I felt like a failure. The book became a mythical, larger than life “thing” overshadowing so many other things in my life. I started to think it would never live up to expectations – real or perceived – which made me shut down. Disappointing people is a terrible feeling and on top of it all, I also gave my detractors plenty of ammo for it not being done. Any time someone would ask me about I had a sense of dread. All of this felt like a 10,000 pound weight on my shoulders.
Last year I decided to do get some help – especially with the shame. For the first time in a long time, I can say I am in a good head space with the book. Recently, I’ve been able to start writing again which has been very freeing. I’ve approached someone to help me with the book, too. One thing as I’ve gotten older is that I’ve realized sometimes you just can’t do it all. This book has been one big life lesson in how not to go about things. If I could screw it up, boy have I with this one.
I’m also learning to be kinder to myself. I have impossibly high standards that can be unrealistic from time to time. It’s ok to be human, not superhuman.
The New Timeline
I know many of you are wondering: is the book ever going to be finished? Yes.
The realistic and, most importantly, achievable goal is to have it done as soon as possible after the release of SQL Server 2022. Since there is no set release date, I can’t say when that is but realistically if it hits the shelves later this year, I’m looking at sometime early in 2023. It won’t just be about SQL Server 2022 but ensuring the latest release is covered makes a lot of sense and keeps it relevant for quite some time.
One thing that I am still debating: instead of one big honkin’ volume, release it in smaller, digestible chunks. Is this something you would want or prefer? It may also allow me to get sections out earlier. Let me know below.
That’s it. I have felt awful about not saying anything or answering questions but understand it was not because I didn’t want to; the shame prevented me from doing so. This blog is me finally putting the shame behind me to move forward and remove the weight from my shoulders.