Hi everyone, just wanted to update you on my progress. I’m deep into my content audit now. I’ve been learning Scrivener, compiling and organizing my existing content so I can take stock of what I have.
My writing process is characterized by spurts of creativity. When I’m in the flow, I feel unstoppable. When I’m not, I don’t try to fight through it too much. Every writer is different in his/her approach, but I’ve gotten used to this pattern. I try to take advantage of whatever cycle I’m in.
My work style is to pump out a lot of material in a very rough draft. Ideation comes easy to me, so I’m doing this nearly all the time. The hard work, for me, is the editing and arranging. Once I’ve laid out a lot of ideas, then I start hacking, pruning, arranging, and fine-tuning.
I knew that I had a lot of compiling, arranging, and organizing to catch up on—and that this was my next major hurdle in the Glass Box Project. Luckily, the past couple weeks have been well suited to the task at hand. My creativity has been in a down cycle, and I’ve been busy with a lot of work for clients. So here’s what I’ve been up to.
Performing a Content Audit
My content is in three “states,” and lives in three different places:
- Blog content—published (in WordPress)
- Blog content—draft form (in Scrivener)
- Draft content—scraps (in Evernote)
To start my content audit, I raided the blog on my WordPress site. I used a tool called wp2epub. It’s a plug-in that converts your WordPress posts into raw HTML. It’s a little clunky; it took me a few iterations to get it right. Even then, it wasn’t perfect. But it did the job.
Using wp2epub, I downloaded all of the content from my WordPress site and then uploaded it to Scrivener, my writing tool. I put everything in a folder called Book Project. Here’s what you see in Scrivener:
You can get a word count by selecting all of the content on the left. You can see that I have nearly 40,000 words from my last import. I expect to be able to use about a quarter of that, by the time I pare this down.
If I highlight everything that I have, you can see that I have 47,000 words in total. As I have said before, you don’t want to be too much of a slave to word count. But most writers I know at least use it as a guide. It’s the same with Twitter followers, right? It’s not so important how many followers you have, but that you are making real connections with real people. But even the “shallow” metrics can provide some insight to how well you’re doing.
Next up, I have to get all of my scraps from Evernote into Scrivener, too. I may do this as I go, because a lot of my “captured” ideation is in such rough form, that I’m not sure it’s going to be helpful. That’s the kind of thing that I might do while watching the baseball game in the evening. It’s the kind of drudge work that only requires a small percentage of my attention.
Then I have to start assembling this into a Table of Contents. It’s going to be rough, and in no way permanent. I just want to be able to start to get a picture of what I have, how it fits together, and probably most importantly, what I am missing. I want to have some topics to start writing about for my next creative spurt!
Let me hear from you! Feedback, encouragement, criticism, and general opinions are always welcome:
- On this blog (via the comments section)
- Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/glassboxproject
- Google Plus (hashtag #glassboxproject)
- Twitter (hashtag #glassboxproject)