New Year, New Look, New Focus

Happy New Year, and welcome back! One of the projects I undertook over the holidays was to give the site a facelift. I didn’t follow my original plan, but I definitely like the way it turned out. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Another of my holiday projects was to resuscitate my writing. I managed to keep up the last SQL New Blogger Challenge for three short weeks before becoming overwhelmed by other responsibilities. That just isn’t enough for me – I have too many ideas, and I do enjoy the writing when I make time for it. That seems to be the key for me: to make time for writing.

When push has come to shove in the past, writing has always been one of the first hobbies to be shelved. It definitely shows in my style: my prose has become very terse over the years since I was in school. I’ve come to understand that much of that comes down to practice, like so many other things in life. Luckily, I’m also finding that writing is like riding a bike. It comes back if you work at it. And that’s where the “new focus” in the title comes in. Now that I fully recognize my problem, I can do something about it.

One of my takeaways from Brent Ozar’s FreeCon was that there will never just be time for writing. You have to make time for it, and it has to be consistent: a consistent time in a consistent place where you can clear your mind and just write for a time. I’ve tried having a consistent time before, and I’ve tried writing in various locations at home, but I’ve always missed the third piece. I never tried finding a place where I could clear my mind.

So that’s my challenge for the winter. I’m going to set aside a couple of hours, a couple of times each week, and go to a coffeeshop where I can get away from my normal workspaces with all of their distractions. Hopefully, this will help me get all of the ideas that are floating around in my head into print. Stay tuned!

One final thing: Thanks to everyone that participated in the SQL New Blogger Challenge in November. And special thanks to Steve Jones and Andy Levy, who once again stepped up to help keep it going!


Ed Leighton-Dick helps small and midsize businesses solve their most challenging database performance, resiliency, and data security issues at Kingfisher Data, the consulting firm he founded in 2014. He has taught thousands of people at over 200 events, including the world's largest Microsoft data platform conferences, and he has been a leader in the Microsoft data community since 2008. Microsoft has recognized Ed seven times as a Data Platform MVP for his expertise and service to the data community.