More Observations on Writing

Keith Ray, Dale Emery, and I are writing books. Keith and Dale are tracking their writing with spreadsheets. Dale is posting his progress online. You can see his Oct 8 progress.I decided they were on to something, and start tracking my progress in a spreadsheet also. I have about 35,000 words written. I have about 1/3 of the chapters in progress. Maybe. It depends on when I realize I have to write more or less about a topic.For Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds, I wrote each chapter, sent it to my reviewers, got feedback, wrote the next one, and so on. For Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management, Esther and I first wrote the first draft, got review comments, wrote the second draft, got review comments, pair-wrote the third draft and got review comments.For this book, I'm working with an editor now, so I'm hearing about weaknesses in the writing as soon as I tell him something is available for editing. This is way cool. In a sense, I'm refactoring as I write. (Oh yes, there's a lot of simplification and clarification going on :-)I'm noticing that when I write down the first draft, I still have a big burst of words, but as soon as Daniel starts giving me feedback, the word count doesn't change all that much, but does tend to decrease.I'm enjoying the writing-down part of this book more than I expected, because I am receiving more feedback faster. This is the same thing that happens on projects when you have cross-functional teams working on one feature at time. I'm pleased to see how well it works for writing a natural language too.

One Reply to “More Observations on Writing”

  1. Hey Johanna,
    Another book! Wow.
    I’ve just been contacted by a very large and well known publishing company about my book. This of course, makes me happy!, but I’ve heard from several published authors that they regret dealing with publishers and wish that instead they had self-published.
    Do you have any thoughts on the two options?
    Or, more to the point, do you have any thoughts on dealing with publishers for a newbie?

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