the new timeline of suck
I believe that in the first year of this project, I have committed most creative sins Merlin refers to in this talk, with the happy exception of activities worth promotion to the rank of Salami Commander. The result: tens of thousands of words, which are totally not a book.
I tried a few more things that didn't work during my internet fast, before discovering that writing longhand is awesome. There's time to think. I can't back up to reorganize. I can't get distracted by research notes. I have to just sit there, sucking at writing, and in doing so, getting better very slowly.
I'll be sucking at writing in this fashion until October 31, at which point I'll set that draft aside to marinate. From November 1 to the solstice, I'll be pounding out 50,000 words of unrelated drivel (and won't you join me?), and getting the interactive site to work like I want. (If you're Ruby-on-Rails-inclined, here's the zeroth draft on github.) After the holiday break, we'll start making the book better: I want to have the site's tires getting kicked starting January 6th, and the first missions starting a week later. I'm fully anticipating being humbled by my software naivete, but the basic idea is to give you one or more ways to read and annotate as I edit and add supporting material.
That's the state of things. In short, make it, then make it better. I'm still vulnerable to clicktrance (so... many... tvtropes...) so I'm trying to be online minimally, but I will shout for help on twitter if needed, or maybe hold some stalker office hours. See you in the world.