On Writing A Minimal Guide 04.18.2013
For those that have been following the site the past few days, you probably know that, instead of my regular new daily posts, I have been updating an existing one — So You Want To Be A Mac Consultant Now… Not only have I been updating it but I, essentially, never stopped writing it. I published edits and additions to the post several times a day. Sometimes just a word was changed. Sometimes I added several hundred words. Sometimes, I rearranged the whole thing entirely. What started out as a simple adjunct to a popular three year old post quickly became something else entirely.
And this thing is it is still changing. While I have decided the post as it stands now, feature compete, my writing on this subject is far from over. I have taken what is up and compiled it, and released an eBook – what I’m calling So, You Want To Be An Apple Consultant… (A Minimal Guide) — and future updates will be added there. You can buy the latest version of it here:
I wish I could tell you that this was all part of a well executed plan. That I meant all along to turn this thing tat started as a conversation on ADN into a whole mini-book series. But, all I did was sit down and start writing. And, as I wrote more and more the possibilities started to reveal themselves to me. Some of these revelations came from my head, some from conversations with others, some from a simple off-handed remark. But I can tell you that, by sharing and engaging others in updates and discussions in near-real time with the writing helped to breathe a whole new life into the work at each turn and the opportunities then presented themselves.
It has been quite fun writing this way and giving others a chance to see a work grow and evolve practically before your eyes. To see an idea start and grow and change. Because I was writing and publishing so quickly those who were attentive enough got to see the mess in real-time (and see me attempt to clean it up just as fast). There is a certain fear a writer must overcome to work this way and I feel good for facing it as the impostor it is. I will certainly consider something like this again should the right subject present itself in the future. In fact, I’ve already laid the groundwork for this case.
I thought it would be useful to others if I shared some of the tools I used to write, edit, publish, and sell it in a matter of a few days:
Byword — My Mac text editor of choice these days. Great support for markdown.
Draft — This really cool, web based tool, makes it super easy to work with an editor. It’s fast, straight forward, and fun to use. Plus, it supports Markdown.
Marked — I mainly use this less for previewing the Markdown formatting and more for being able to copy it to clipboard as Rich Text so I can easily send it to…
Scrivener — This is where the Guide is formatted and compiled into eBook form.
Gumroad — Super simple and well designed service for selling digital goods online. The cut they take is more than fair and you can literally have something up and selling in under 5 minutes.
Thanks to all of those that have followed along. And a special thanks to Jason Remus for his editing work and guidance in figuring out the next step and Aaron Mahnke for quick work on a cover and logo.
More to come.