I've been batting around the idea of producing an online course or ebook for many months now. Without any particular prompting, I've launched into it. I've had a pretty clear head of late, and, to be perfectly honest, a bit of "what have I accomplished?" panic as I stare down my 30th birthday in February. Perhaps most importantly, I've been learning better techniques to mitigate some of my planning paralysis and procrastinator's fantasies and just get down to work.
To be perfectly clear: starting to write a book, writing a book, and having written a book are very, very different things. I'm mostly reminding myself of that. Lots to do if it's really to be done.
Wanting to work on the book is coinciding with an overall drive to produce more stuff in general (like my workshop earlier this month), including blog posts. Seemed like an obvious pairing to write about my progress on the project in this space. With the exception of this long-winded introduction to these posts, I expect to post mostly raw versions of what I'm logging for myself in Day One (tagged #log and #book project), with a few extra links and notes here and there to make it clearer for non-me readers.
Project Log: January 21
Created robust outline for a book that evolves and repurposes content from my Digital Writing Toolbox presentations and workshop.
Bounced around a few tools and concepts before outlining an approach. Good first impression with iBooks Author; feels as easy as Keynote.
Wasn’t sure which piece I wanted to work on first. Captured some notes around Squarespace and "content strategy for the little guy", but less material to draw from right now. Of all my material, the writing framework stuff has a relatively broad appeal and can fit into several promotional niches, like “the other side of content strategy: production” (hey, that’s not bad) or “tools for writers and bloggers who know there’s a better way”. that kind of thing.
- looked at abstracts for my talks on this subject matter
- opened most recent Mindnode mindmap outline of my talk
- bounced between reviewing the outline and reviewing the annotated slides to jumpstart my brain
- created new node on same canvas to redraft the outline with less narrative (it was originally created as a prompt for speaking, not for creating chapter and section titles)
- wrote, revised, wrote, revised
- looked for symmetry within the sections, striving for new framing devices to explain the material in a more repeatable way
- made one big improvement over the presentation outline by breaking a more technical (and optional) topic into its own section (plain text & markdown)
- installed iBooks Author to get a feel for it
- realized I need to get an iPad