Okay, hear me out: what if I wrote a book in public? And—what if—I wrote about the process of writing/designing/building it each week in a newsletter. I’d have no idea where I was going with it, or what the book could possibly be, and we’d all figure it out in public together. It would be the equivalent of a CSS-Tricks blog post except instead of learning how a website works under the hood, I’d write about all the complexities of writing and making a physical book.
Working title? How Not to Write a Book.
In the first edition I could tease out the subject, in the next I could plan out the chapters, in another I could bemoan the difficulty of writing something at this scale, the next after that I could interview book designers and writers that have made similar things. In another edition of this series I could brood about a book that I dislike for this one petty reason (it’s always the margins) or I could think through the design, walk through the troubles of InDesign or the web. I could write about the format of this proto-book, write about the history of graphic design in this field. Paper stock, color theory, typesetting, editing; the list is endless.
Would this be a paper object or another website? I have no idea. This project might spit out a novel, a Kindle book, a series of videos, a picture book…
It would be thrilling to figure all that out.
Multiple books might come out of this project or even no book at all. Maybe this series of newsletters/blog posts(?) would be a warning for future writers: do not write like this in public, beware this coastal route, because there lie dangers ahead.
And yet, perhaps something else—a book—might emerge.
Behold! My newsletter—sent infrequently—about new things that I’m working on. Every so often it’ll contain notes about web design and publishing things that I’m interested in, too.