Writing a Book versus Writing a Blog Entry or It's Time for MicroWriting!
I'm in the middle of writing 1/3 of a book and I keep stopping and writing blog entries instead. No, it's not compulsive behavior (perhaps a bit). But I also wrote two white papers and one SQL tutorial also. This indicates to me that the issue is not the book material but it's something about the process. My tool for blogging is Radio. My tool for the white papers and SQL tutorial was/is FrontPage. My tool for the book is FrontPage. So, it's not the question of the tool either. It's a question of scope (damn I'm a geek). Here's what I mean.
NOTE: For non developers, here is a stupid, simplified description of scope. Scope in coding terms talks about how your application perceives variables. For example a variable with global scope then it can be modified from anywhere in the application. A variable with local scope might only be available at a procedure or function.
When you write a book your general scope is at the "chapter" level. But you structure your information at the section and sub section level -- the outline level. This means that you have both an abstraction issue in thinking about it versus actually doing it. It's just plain confusing to scroll up, down, etc. Let's not have the argument about outlining versus structural editing, etc. This might be what we should do but I need to write a book now, not re-invent Word. Let's talk about blogging and adapting what works from blogging to writing a book.
Blogging works because the scope is local. Local scope for writers isn't intimidating or scary. It's easy. Think about it: It's a lot easier to work with an article than a research paper.
Simple: Break the book chapters from single chapters to 1 html page per section and then work in those and view it structurally as a collection of urls.
When my portion of this book is done, I'll let people know about it and they can see if the approach worked by the final product.
I forgot to post this and I've since written two new sections much more quickly than I had prior. My gut feel is that I'm now making about 20% faster progress. Something to think about.