Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

Writing a book: Preparing the next stage

Just a few days from now the next writing month starts. The three weeks in October were quite eventful with my dad’s heart attack, but I still managed to achieve my writing goals.

November wasn’t an easy month for our small band of writers. The organization that ordered the book withdrew itself from the project, leaving us and the publisher out to dry. Since we are also members of that organization we were extremely disappointed and up to this day we never received an official notification nor an apology. I can understand when an organization which finds itself with various failing commercial endeavors needs to make tough decisions. But that same organization is build on the backs of dozens and dozens of volunteers, active computer users that contribute in many ways. At least they could have had the decency to speak with us personally, explain their viewpoint and apologize. They didn’t and I’ll leave it at that.

Another problem arose between the publisher and one member of our writing team. It makes no sense to get into that right now, but the result is that our friend decided he could not continue with the project. I regret that deeply. He is the most knowledgeable on Ubuntu. Fortunately he allows us to use the work he already has done and he will remain on the team in an advisory capacity. For that I am grateful since it can only contribute to achieving the quality we aim for.

Coming friday we meet with the publisher again to discuss the new situation and how to progress from here. The publisher already decided that the book will be published, albeit in another series. The deadline will change somewhat and the two remaining writers have some extra work to do.

As far as my planning is concerned I decided to stick with the original timetable and finish my part in mid January. At least, that is my intention. This week I spend my time warming up a bit. I wrote some online reviews on other Linux distributions and an article about Sabayon Linux for a small magazine. I forced myself to write “one shot” pieces. Write in one attempt. Of course the quality is more variable that way, but considering the response I got it is still high enough. This helped me to overcome any tendency for a writer’s block. Right now, I am on a writer’s roll and prepared to write the next 100 pages for the book. If I could do this for a living…

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