Category Archives: writing

Peter H Gregory Publishes a Book To Guide Aspiring Tech Book Authors

Seattle, WA – April 26, 2022 – Author Peter H. Gregory has announced that his latest book, “The Art of Writing Technical Books,” has just been published. The book is available in paperback and electronic editions worldwide.

Peter H Gregory is a well-known author of tech books, including certification study guides for the world’s leading professional certifications in information security and privacy. He has authored over fifty books in the past twenty-three years, beginning with “Solaris Security.” He wrote this first book in 1998-1999 amid the dot-com boom when most servers on the Internet were powered by the Solaris operating system from Sun Microsystems and when internet security was just becoming a concern.

“I have wanted to write this book for many years,” cites Gregory. “I have mentored numerous aspiring authors and helped many get published. But until now, I only could converse with them and answer their questions. Everything I’ve helped others with is captured in this book.”

Gregory has long been passionate about helping aspiring writers break into the publishing profession. He has been instrumental in helping several accomplished professionals publish books for major publishing houses, including Sarah Perrot and Matthew Webster.

About Peter H Gregory

Peter H Gregory is a career information security, privacy, and technology professional and a former executive advisor and virtual CISO. He is the author of over fifty books on information security and emerging technology. Visit him at peterhgregory.com.

For interviews with Peter H Gregory, please contact at: https://peterhgregory.wordpress.com/contact/

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My Writing Tools

As a professional writer for over twenty years, I have been using a small set of tools that helps me improve my writing. Whether I’m writing a new blog entry, commenting on a LinkedIn post, updating my resume, or writing the first draft of a new book, one or more tools help spot errors in my copy.

The primary tools at my disposal include these:

  • Microsoft Word. I’ve been using Microsoft Word since the mid-1980s when DOS and Word 1.0 fit on a 360k floppy disc with room left over for several documents. A few years ago, I considered stopping using Microsoft Word in favor of other word processors. However, Word is the mainstay of the major publishing houses (John Wiley, McGraw-Hill, Cengage Learning) with detailed requirements that include the use of customized template (.dot) files, Track Changes, and more. These features require that authors use Microsoft Word and nothing else. And to Microsoft’s credit, Word for Mac has improved significantly over the past couple of years.
  • Microsoft Word spell check. While I turn on real-time spell check, I generally just do batch spell checks on sections of chapters (or entire chapters) to correct spelling errors.
  • Microsoft Word grammar check. I used to use Microsoft Word grammar check, until I started using Grammarly a few years ago. Now I just keep the MS Word grammar checking turned off.
  • Grammarly Premium. I use Grammarly Premium as my primary grammar and readability tool. Grammarly Premium is integrated into Brave Browser, so it checks most of my browser-based writing such as email, short LinkedIn postings and comments, and most free-form text fields. Ironically, it does not (yet) work with WordPress, so as I write this, Grammarly is blind. Often I will copy my blog post directly into the Grammarly desktop tool and check my grammar there and manually make corrections in my blog posting. The nice thing about Grammarly Premium is that it works on all of my devices, although in slightly different ways. A disadvantage of Grammarly is that it cannot process large chapter files; I manually have to copy large blocks of text (20-30 pages) into Grammarly manually and then transcribe my corrections into my manuscript.
  • ProWritingAid. This is the latest tool in my collection, having learned about it from Stephanie Newell. I have the ProWritingAid extension installed on the Brave Browser on my MacBook Pro. Interestingly, ProWritingAid checks my WordPress (Grammarly does not), and most other web-based input. It’s interesting to see Grammarly Premium and ProWritingAid working on the same text side by side.

Having recently watched a video by Stephanie Newell, I’m considering turning off real-time spell checking in Microsoft Word, as it may prove a distraction while I write. I do wonder, however, whether doing spell checking later might leave me puzzled on whether I’ll remember what I was thinking and if I will make the proper corrections. My Word spelling and grammar settings are shown below.

WFH Book for Employers and Employees: Lost Opportunity?

Short version: should I publish my “how to WFH for employers and employees” book, or has the opportunity passed me by?

Long version:

In 2001, I was on a task group for a large (50,000+ employees) employer to determine the corporate, technology, management, and cultural structure for changing thousands of office workers into work-from-home workers. This immersion in every aspect of work from home (WFH) enriched me in ways I would not understand for many years.

I became part-time WFH in 2005 and began living out the experiment on my own. The learning and planning we did a few years earlier proved to be pretty realistic, and I was able to apply those principles to my new situation.

A couple of years later, when the SARS and MERS epidemics threatened to go global, I was asked to write a pandemic response plan for my employer so that our corporate customers would have more comfort knowing we were prepared. We would be able to continue delivering services without sacrificing quality or security.

When news of COVID-19 began spreading in February 2020, I immediately recognized the signs that this could be a global pandemic and made specific preparations for my family. In addition, my employer started taking steps that were similar to the plan I made over a decade earlier.

On March 16-18, 2020, in response to the emerging pandemic, I wrote a fifty-page manuscript on working from home and adapting technology and corporate culture to make it work. Unfortunately, my employer did not permit me to publish this book, as it would undermine the advisory practice (despite my having accumulated this expertise before working for this company). As a result, my completed manuscript is still under wraps.

Recently I’ve returned to this completed manuscript and wonder today whether there would be any value in publishing it. The book treated a pandemic as a future event, so there would be changes in tense that would have to be fixed. And of course, thousands of organizations figured out on their own a lot of what my book tells readers to do.

How My Writing Became More Productive

I was working on my first book, Solaris Security, in 1998. I spent most of my writing after dinner and after kids were in bed, working around 9-11pm three or four nights each week. Most of the time, I’d write until I was head-bobbing and falling asleep mid-sentence. It was slow going.

Image courtesy Web Writer Spotlight

Several people at work knew I was writing this book. One day in the break room, my colleague Mike Cattolico asked me how writing was going. I replied that I was getting a little bit done each night until I was falling asleep. Mike replied, “Dude! You need to flip that schedule: get up early, like 4am, and skim the cream off the top.”

That made sense to me. The very next day, I took his advice and tried it out. After several days of getting up at 4am and writing for a couple of hours before the kids woke up, I found that my productivity skyrocketed. He was right!

For twenty years now, I’ve been writing in the early morning hours, as well as on Saturday mornings (and sometimes all day Saturday). Last year, I made another change and stopped writing on the weekends, essentially spending fewer hours each week writing. But with the experience I’ve gained writing dozens of books over two decades, I’m getting as much writing done on weekday mornings, and I now have my weekends free for other things.