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26 Nov 2010, 14:51
Susannah Davidson Pfalzer (114 posts)

Almost done with the month, and it’s time to see how far you’ve come. For our American participants, it may have been hard to squeeze writing in this week during the Thanksgiving holiday. Larry had a question about whether if a day of writing is missed, whether you should try to make up for lost time the next day and write twice as much, or just focus on keeping up a steady pace. Keeping the steady pace is the key - if you miss a day, that’s fine, just get to work the next day to keep the momentum - and the habit of writing - going.


  • What’s your page count so far?

  • What challenges have you faced as you’ve gone through this month? What successes?

  • How will you keep up your progress after the writing month is over?

We’ll do one more big check-in on Nov. 30, but of course, keep posting your progress every day till then!

26 Nov 2010, 16:08
Daniel de Kok (38 posts)

We are now at 68 A4 pages. We used the last few days to polish things a bit, and include suggestions from someone who proofread the first chapter. Also, some work needed to be done on some Haskell modules that the readers will use.

After this month, we plan to continue as usual. It’s fun, and we are looking forward to complete the book :).

As always, the current version of the book is readable at:

26 Nov 2010, 16:32
Daniel de Kok (38 posts)

Before I forget, we have decided to send a proposal after all.

26 Nov 2010, 17:22
Travis Swicegood (117 posts)

Howdy all;

Got today’s writing in:

    3742   20897  140192 total

Finished up the first pass at second part of the book and moved on to fleshing out the third part. Really beginning to flesh the book out now.

  • What’s your page count so far?

99 pages with formatting and placeholders and such. I imagine on a normal form book it’s a bit more, but I’m not positive. I just ran wc on the XML formatted version of my Pragmatic Guide to Git book and came up with:

    7583   32377  324315 total

The middle column is an interesting comparison. Of course, the Prag Guide is a shorter-form book, but I’m pretty pleased that with a leaner format I’ve written almost 2/3rd of the book. I’m half way tempted to spend the time and do a rough conversion to Prag’s internal format for an apples to apples comparison. :-)

  • What challenges have you faced as you’ve gone through this month? What successes?

Challenges have been travel related. I started the month in California at Zendcon, spent the middle part in Austin, and am spending the last week in Lawrence building fences and doing house projects on a house I’m getting ready to sell. Not being in the same place every day with the same routine provides its challenges.

The big success is that minus one day this month, I’ve written every single day. I’m happy with where the results are.

  • How will you keep up your progress after the writing month is over?

I found out exactly how big a deal having that hour a day set aside to write is. I plan on keeping that up and also want to keep some sort of community around the writing process. I plan on finishing this book up and there’s plenty of additional writing I can do in promotion of it and my existing books, so I feel like I’ve got a habit I’m going to keep up.

I’m also considering adding another pomodoro or two devoted to code. I have a backlog of things I want to write and/or contribute to other projects. I like the idea of setting aside some time every day to dive into open source projects. It’s writing, just a slightly less nuanced version.


26 Nov 2010, 23:23
Diego Zamboni (70 posts)

First, today’s stats: 837 words today,

  • What’s your page count so far?

markdown2pdf gives me 80 US Letter pages, counting today’s entry.

  • What challenges have you faced as you’ve gone through this month? What successes?

I have encountered two big challenges. The first one, as I have said before, is time. As they say, when it rains it pours, and precisely during November I acquired major new responsibilities at my day job, which has made finding the time to write even harder. But I’ve managed to write every single day of the month so far, and I’m very happy with it.

The second challenge has been the code. Given my lack of time, I have focused on writing more than coding (since coding takes more time), but this being a technical book, code is kind-of a must :) I decided to focus more during this month on the structure of the book than on the nitty-gritty technical details, because otherwise I would have been hung for lack of coding time. I am still very happy with the book so far, but I am aware that a deep technical pass, looking at the code I’ve included and writing new one, is needed.

The success has been, of course, to write. To write every day, and to be now the proud author of an 80-page proto-book. To realize that I have something to say about this topic, and that I like saying it in writing.

  • How will you keep up your progress after the writing month is over?

My two motivators will be the desire to submit a book proposal to PragProg, and The first one will drive me to a hard editing and polishing pass at one of my chapters to use as a writing sample, and the second will drive me to keep producing new content every day, even if it’s not related to this book.

27 Nov 2010, 04:57
Larry Jones (89 posts)

Today’s results:

1548 8805 62381 total

What’s your page count so far?

Assuming 250 words per page, I’ve written about 35 pages of both text and code since 15-Nov.

What challenges have you faced as you’ve gone through this month? What successes?

My main challenge so far has been “catching up” since I began writing late in the month. My main technical challenge has been figuring out how to write both text and code. Looking forward, I think I’ll find a challenge in organizing my ideas. (Writing seems much easier than editing into a coherent presentation.)

My success has been writing much more easily than I expected. So far, I’ve not encountered days in which I have nothing to write, although I have faced days in which I’ve not wanted to write.

How will you keep up your progress after the writing month is over?

I plan to keep up my progress by three areas. First, I plan to continue visiting PragProWriMo as long as it is open. Second, I plan the discipline of writing for two Pomodoro’s each day. Third, I, too, would like to submit a proposal to Pragmatic Programmers for this book. Finally, I’ve let a number of people outside PragProWriMo know that I’m writing a book so I have to live with their questions.

27 Nov 2010, 05:32
Josh Carter (40 posts)

Just a quick check-in here, did some poking at a section on career paths for the programmer. Only about a page today. I’m tired, gotta turn in.

27 Nov 2010, 18:20
Raymond Yee (47 posts)

I’m currently at 43 pages (and 16200 words).

The major challenge has been the difficulty of writing every day, which I’ve not been able to do. Travel has been the primary reason for not being able to write every day, but I can’t blame travel alone. Sometimes, it’s been hard to prioritize writing over other activities.

On the success column is my not giving up and continuing to write when I can. And I’m much further than if I didn’t take up PragProWriMo at all.

I’m going to keep trying to write each day. Letting others know about my progress (especially in this forum) has been a key factor in helping me to write.

BTW, anyone know whether Bob Cochran is still writing? (I mention Bob because he was someone who noticed when I dropped out for a bit.)

27 Nov 2010, 18:43
David Copeland (512 posts)

Missed the last couple days with Thanksgiving, but I’m still doing OK:

> rake stats
(in /Users/davec/Projects/pragprowrimo)
35340 words
1308 words/day
160 pages
  • What’s your page count so far? ** 160, based on 220 words/page
  • What challenges have you faced as you’ve gone through this month? What successes? ** It’s been hard to write every day, and it takes a lot longer when I don’t know exactly what I need to write; for example, today’s checkin is all about testing command line interfaces directly, and I had never used aruba or FakeFS before, so I had to read up on them and try them out, whereas an earlier section on using OptionParser was pretty easy to crank out.
  • How will you keep up your progress after the writing month is over? ** I plan on submitting a proposal to PragProg to see if I can move forward with this. If they aren’t interested, I might submit it to a few others, or just self-publish. I hope I don’t have to go that route, as I’d like to work with a real editor to make sure the book is organized and useful.
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