Our “How I Write” series asks writers from the University of Louisville community and beyond to respond to five questions that provide insight into their writing processes and offer advice to other writers. Through this series, we promote the idea that learning to write is an ongoing, life-long process and that all writers, from first-year students to career professionals, benefit from discussing and collaborating on their work with thoughtful and respectful readers. The series will be featured every other Wednesday.
Our featured writer this week is Professor Jeffery L. Hieb. Dr. Hieb teaches in the Engineering Fundamentals and Computer Engineering and Computer Science departments in the J. B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville. Although he has a range of research interests, one area of specialty for Dr. Hieb is information assurance and security.
How I Write: Jeffery L. Hieb
Location: In my office or my office at home
Current project: A technical report on the availability and effectiveness of currently available industrial control system cyber-security technology for the Dams Sector.
- What type(s) of writing do you regularly engage in?
a. Conference and journal papers
b. Technical reports
c. Letters of recommendation
d. Grant and research proposals
- When/where/how do you write?
a. In my office or in my office at home.
b. Almost any chance I get
- What are your writing necessities—tools, accessories, music, spaces?
a. I write on my notebook computer, and since I have it with me most of the time I can write almost anywhere. I usually like to have a cup of coffee next to me when I write.
- What is your best tip for getting started and/or for revision?
a. When I have trouble getting started I like to stand up and talk about the subject matter to an imaginary audience. Usually after 10 to 15 minutes I want to start writing down something I have said.
- What is the best writing advice you’ve received?
a. The best advice I ever received was from Dr. David Shaner, my philosophy professor when I was an undergraduate. He once told me: “Just throw up on the page, you can clean it up later”. I have always found that helpful when starting to write something, it takes away the pressure of getting it right at the beginning, and acknowledges that rewriting/revising is part of the writing process, not what you do to fix or correct something you got wrong initially.