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Hacking the Hacker by Roger A. Grimes

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47Writing as a Career

I failed high school English—twice. In grad school, while doing a hospital administration internship, the writing of my first corporate report was so bad that the boss questioned out loud our nation’s entire education system. When I occasionally re‐read that report to remind me of where I started, it physically hurts me. Almost 30 years later, I’ve authored or co‐authored nine books and nearly 1000 national magazine articles on computer security, and I’ve been the InfoWorld magazine computer security columnist going on 12 years. All thanks to my brother (the first and best real writer in the family), my personal perseverance, and a slew of quality editors.

While I still have a hard time writing an email without a typo, my writing has improved enough that I make a very good living doing it. I frequently do writing assignments where I can earn up to $500–$1000/hour, and I make more in one year than the average American family income, and it’s only my side job. Although I work full‐time as computer security consultant, I’ve been writing about computer security even longer. It’s nice supplemental income that I can make writing in spare cycles at home, while flying, and at nights in hotel rooms after consulting all day. Some people watch TV at night. I usually write while watching TV. My writing hobby has funded many a grand family vacation and allows me to spend way too much money on my hobbies. I’m not alone.

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