I subscribed to Roy Huff ♛’s daily journal, and I found it very motivating.
Not really what he is writing but the daily progress report. It is motivating for the writer to keep up publishing and pushing his/her daily and overall goals. In the current case, it will be my motivational factor. I don’t plan to use the Freedom Journal Roy is using, but I will similarly set my goals (Agile if we want to use the tech buzzword). In the end, I may purchase a copy of the Freedom Journal.
Even though I found some problems in the past with keeping my progress (see 100 days of code for example) now I must manage my pace.
The reason is I’m writing a book which will be (hopefully) published next year with a big CS-book publisher. And with this co-operation, I have deadlines I have to keep, and other responsibilities.
This almost daily journal helps you and me tracking my progress. I will add the number of words written daily and how what percentages of the chapters are ready — at least these percentages are after my outline and can change after my editors read and edit them.
Are you ready to support me on this journey? I’m looking forward you reaching out.
If you start a plan to complete, you must set goals which can be measured.
My overall goal is to finish my book until the 1st of May 2018. This is measurable goal but vague to start with: the book is finished but how big is the book in the end? If I don’t set boundaries, I could skip the next months and have 10 pages delivered. I’d finish the book, but my editors and publisher won’t be happy. I must set a different goal.
A more precise goal is to have 5 chapters in the book, and the whole book should be at least 150 pages.
I am getting better but still there is something missing. Let’s say, one page of the book contains 220 words (honestly, I have no idea what’s the average word count for tech books, but feel free to send me a message if you know better), then in the end I have to deliver at least 33000 words in the manuscript.
23 weeks are until my deadline, and I mostly write on weekdays, so I have 115 days to complete the work. From this I get the result, I must write 300 words per day to be good enough.
Therefore, my goal is to write at least 300 words a day.
By the way, I already have 3400 words written but this doesn’t mean I could reduce the number of words to 250 or such because I can re-write and get notices from my editors to do some polishing.
This means, in my journal I’ll tell you how good it is going with my daily pensum and my overall progress.
Yesterday, at day 1, I already missed my good start: I didn’t notice the word count of the book before I started writing.
But I managed to take a short notice, and I can conclude that I reached my 300 words written and edited some part of the already available content.
As I go along the way, I do some restructuring and fine-tuning of the book’s outline. This edition will be a lot more interesting and useful than the previous one: it will contain more introduction to the tools and useful code examples along the way.
But what I learned so far is that editing technical books is a tedious task. You must deal with different text styles for your content in the first paragraph then in the other paragraph, code blocks, code inline in a text, lists and so on. This takes more time than writing the content.
And if this is not enough, I must make references to each figure and code block — and name them, give them a good caption.
Well, writing a book is a very big commitment.