Drupal book progress (or lack thereof)

Writing a book is hard.It's been about six months since Elijah Meeks and I kicked off our plan to write a book on Drupal for an audience of humanists, librarians, and higher-ed IT folks who support humanities research and teaching. Since then, I've repeatedly found myself explaining key things about Drupal, and wishing that I'd finished the book so I could hand it to people as a resource. Unfortunately, feeling dedicated to the project in an abstract way has not meant that at any given moment what I want to do is sit down, focus and just write it. I'd hoped that spending nearly two months in Tempe, AZ this summer (where I don't have internet at home, and the heat is hellish) would leave me with nothing else to do in my spare time besides writing this book, but somehow three weeks have slipped by without much to show for it. Moreover, the new Civilization V expansion pack has not helped the situation any.

A few recent developments have opened the door to new avenues for making myself make steadier progress. Elijah and I have decided not to look for a commercial publisher for the book. Instead, we'll publish it online, for free. Since there's people in our intended audience who like having a physical book to refer to, we'll self-publish a printed version and list it on Amazon. What we'll be sacrificing in riches (what few there might be) and the extra credibility of a publisher's endorsement we'll make up for in not having to give up control over how and where our work can be published. We'll use a Creative Commons license in hopes of encouraging people to share, remix, and use our work in whatever way makes sense to further the cause of Drupal as a tool for digital humanities.

So that I have an incentive to stop slyly nudging forward the due date for all my book-related tasks in Toodledo, I hereby promise to post whatever I've managed to write each week, until this project is done. Any feedback would be much appreciated, and I hope that people find some of these pieces useful, even before all the sections have been written.


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