How to write a book.

I'm not done the book yet, so this blog may be a little premature. Still, I've learned a lot from what I've written so far. The main one is that the hardest part of the book is simply finding the time to write it.

The next hardest part is figuring out how to organize it. But I've solved that problem, I think. My solution is to concentrate on writing the contents first, even if that means the drafts look like a random collection of notes. As the notes get fleshed out into paragraphs, sections, and chapters, the organization grows naturally.

As of this writing, I'm up to 60 pages, and I have only about 5 pages that are specific to FreeRADIUS. Just explaining the concepts behind RADIUS, and correcting common misconceptions is taking a fair amount of space. That's good, though. It means that that the rest of the book is built on those foundations, and isn't just a jumble of “how-to's”.

The finished book will have a number of “how-to's”, of course. But without the additional background materials, they help people copy configurations, which is not the same as helping them to solve problems.