Introduction

I like writing essays. I like the length: 600 to 1,200 words is my personal sweet spot. I like the format: a tight argument designed to make a particular point. And I like the style: explaining complicated topics to a lay audience is something I do well. Books are long, both in actual words and in the time they take to write. But I can write an essay in a fit of inspiration in a morning, and get it published the next day if everything goes well.

Not that it always goes that well, of course. Some essays are harder to write than others, and some are very hard. I like to take a few days to consider an issue before I write about it, which means that mine is generally not the first essay on the Internet after a news event. Editors, of course, hate this. They want something that catches the current news cycle.

Still, writing is something I'm good at and something I do a lot of. Since 1992, I have written almost 500 essays, op-eds, and articles for a wide variety of publications. They're all on my website—www.schneier.com, if you don't already know—and a selection of them has been collected into two books. The first collection, Schneier on Security, covered essays from April 2002 to February 2008. This volume covers essays from March 2008 to June 2013.

Looking back at the entire body of work, I have some lessons, observations, and advice for others trying to get their own articles published. And while my writing is mostly about security, much of the advice is general.

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