Every Friday, how about taking stock of where you are and how far you’ve come. We’re five days in to PragProWriMo - how’s it going so far? What’s your page count for the week? Some of you have posted about your challenges and successes so far. “Just writing” isn’t easy, but it can be exhilarating, too. How will you keep the momentum going for the coming week?
It has been a very nice experience so far. I am using 750words.com as a tool both for keeping my word count and for encouraging myself to write (I signed up for the November challenge, which means if I don’t write every day, my name will go up on the “Wall of Shame”).
According to 750words, I am now at 6,318 words, including today’s entry, which I wrote early.
Page count: I am writing in Markdown (converted some text I had previously written in LaTeX into Markdown for entering it in 750words), and using pandoc’s markdown2pdf tool, I get a 17-page PDF document, not counting my “front matter” (book summary and tentative table of contents). It even looks half-decent!
My biggest challenge this week has been to refrain myself from editing. When I started attempting to write this book months ago, playing with LaTeX packages and getting the formatting “just right” was what kept me from making more progress, and eventually the project fell aside. Another big challenge has been to avoid trying to get it perfect, and to just get the words out. Yet another challenge has been to find the best time for writing. With a full-time job and a family, I find it hard to make time for myself before late at night, and by then I’m exhausted. But I’m working on carving out some fixed time for my writing.
My biggest success has, of course, been able to complete 5 days of writing successfully. The first two days I used some of the text I already had, but the rest has been all new, and I am very proud of having been able to actually write new material.
I’m definitely excited, and ready to keep on going.
Good luck to everyone, and thanks to PragProg for providing this challenge to all of us.
I’m always applying self-discipline to keep writing. Each night this week, I have written more material for the book. I now have 10 pages total and OpenOffice Writer tells me there are 6,257 words. The itch to edit existing text is sometimes strong, but I recognize that I need to keep writing and give a lot of thought to the book and the characters and the message I have for my readers when I’m not writing, programming, coaching two new employees at the office or fixing computers in my life outside my day job. Taking at least one walk a day helps me. Exercise gets me feeling good about the writing to come and I start trying to live my book characters. Last night was exhilarating because I let the words flow. Tonight wasn’t as fun, but I made a quick list of my characters and who they correspond to in real life and considered how they will proclaim my message for me as I typed away. I am not worried about tools, OpenOffice and git for version control are just fine with me. Overall, this is a good week. A week of self-discovery for me as I start to think of myself as a writer, not as a technician. With much work and committment, I can succeed with this book!
Seems bizarre but Ive been writing entirely in a notebook (yes, with a pen!) - it’s been going well, just filling in the chapters in my outline, looking forward to another week’s progress..
3000 words still (no time today, family visit). However, I did find a great co-author :).
November 5. 14 pages edited. Which is not the same as written, obviously, but revising my 2009 NaNoWriMo novel is the challenge I set myself this month.
I’m trying to do a topic a day and have 3 done (and so am carrying a PragProWriMo debt of 2). Completed topics: # the importance of lightsabers to automation # don’t use defaults # locators don’t belong in scripts
And somewhere in here I need to finish the thing I owe Michael
So far so good for me. I’m planning on writing over the weekend, so this isn’t the end of week one for me yet.
Going in, I knew this week was going to be the toughest for me. I flew into Santa Clara Sunday for the 2010 Zendcon – as Susannah can attest, conferences and me actually getting any writing done are almost polar opposites. I managed to write all but one day this past week though, so I feel that’s a success.
As for tools, I’m using Sphinx and ReSTructured text. I use the tool a lot the documentation for my various open source projects, so it seems to fit. ReST is pretty lightweight so it gets out of my way well. I’ve only had one or two instances where I’ve even had to double check the syntax for something I wanted to do. Of course, I’m already thinking about how I might go about converting this to PML if I actually end the month with something that’s worth printing up.
As for stats, @wc@ is telling me that I have 4540 words total. That includes at least the preliminary headers for outlines and some of basic markup required to actually build things like a table of contents and so on. The PDF version that Sphinx generates is currently at 21 pages. Of actual content pages, I have 11 full pages of content to show for the week.
Consider that I’m basically only 4 days in (just over half of a full week’s worth of writing), I’ll take that. I know this is going to be fleshed out a bit more, but I’ve refrained from any heavy editing thus far focusing instead on new content to flesh out the whole idea before I make passes back through the material.
@ John Bresnik:
I used to carry around paper composition books during my college years and would write page after page of long hand. My right hand would get awfully sore and stiff. Then I got on the staff of the student newspaper, which gave me access to the world’s most important machine at that time: the IBM Correcting Selectric typewriter. I’d stay up all night typing stuff. Never did learn touch typing, though. I still use just one or two fingers on each hand and peck away at the keyboard. Today, many years later, I still have hardcover books of the kind sold by Borders Books with a couple hundred blank pages inside.