Compose has been running the Write Stuff program to find new writing and writers who want to write about databases. We're now at the point of asking why aren't you writing for the Write Stuff. There's a lot of expertise out there, people who know their way around or have experience with one or more of the Compose databases. Those databases - MongoDB, Elasticsearch, RethinkDB, PostgreSQL, Redis, etcd or RabbitMQ. Do you have experience that you'd like to pass on but don't think you're a writer? Then read on.
With Compose's Write Stuff, the first thing we're looking for is the idea, the thing that your article would be about. We ask you to submit an outline, but we're happy enough if you can just write something about that idea; we aren't sticklers for structure. We are looking for ideas that will make articles that are worth the $200 cash and $200 database credits we offer to successful Write Stuffers.
What we want to hear is your idea, be it a tutorial, backgrounder, history, concept or just something really neat you found you could do. Have you run a database at scale, run into problems with a particular database and have a cautionary tale? It's all good material for Write Stuff. Doesn't have to be for a Compose database, but, we'll be blunt, it helps.
What we don't want is also important. For example, and from actual submissions, we don't want to see offers of a multi-part series of tutorials on a subject you want to learn about. We do want to hear about things you are comfortable with because we find people write better, at least initially, when they are comfortable with the subject matter. Most importantly, make sure your submission is about databases; you'd be surprised at the number of submissions we get that aren't!
Once you have submitted your idea – make sure your submission is clearly written – then we'll get back to you with some feedback and tell you whether we want to go with your idea or not. We may, though, encourage you to try again.
Then the challenge begins... to produce your article. Here's some tips.
- If you've written an outline, don't use it as headings or as the skeleton for your article. Put it on the side and use it to remind you what you want to talk about in your article.
- Try talking about your subject matter with a co-worker or friend. Record what you talk about and then take that discussion and write it up for a friendlier conversational style.
- Assume whoever is reading is as smart as you. Don't try and second guess who will read your article.
- Are you going to have code in your article? Great. But remember to write about the code, not use code instead of writing.
And when you've written it:
- Read over your article as if you've forgotten all the acronyms and terms you've used. Sometimes you can find two different sentences either side of an acronym because you're expanding it in your own head.
- Do let a friend read it. If you talked through your subject matter with someone, let them read your article.
Then send it in to the Write Stuff and we'll put your article through the same process we use internally to get the best out of your writing. If it all goes well, your article is published. As well as the cash and database credits, at the end of the Write Stuff cycle there's another $500 for the best article published. The current cycle closes at the end of July and Write Stuff is a rolling program so you've always got a chance to become a writer but the sooner you start doing it, the better. Now is the time to Write Stuff.