Johnson wouldn't blog a book while writing it, Weinberger might, I did, others will

Quoting from Steve Johnson on books and blogs:

Steve Johnson has a brilliant post on why he doesn’t blog his books as he writes them:

The problem for an author is that books are not written the way they are read. They usually take years to write, from original proposal to final proofs; they are rarely composed in sequence; and by the time you submit a final manuscript, you’ve invariably read every page dozens of times, mostly out context.

So for me at least, the trick of writing a book is somehow shedding all the layered, time-shifted contortions of writing, and somehow recreating what it would feel like to sit down as a newcomer to the book and start reading..

…And private, linear, slow is exactly the opposite of the experience of blogging. .

Read the whole thing if only because it is itself an example of Steve’s blend of logic, insight and voice.

I wrote Small Pieces Loosely Joined entirely online, posting updated drafts every day. That was a mistake. What’s the point of reading, much less commenting on, drafts the author is going to throw out tomorow? So, next time, I think I’ll aggressively blog ideas as they occur and post drafts of chapters as I finish them. I think. [Technorati tags: ]

This blog started off as a private place for my editors and I to gather notes and references, then it became a place for editorial discussion and a way for me to sift through all my references when writing or rewriting a chapter. I never posted my drafts on line but very occasionally a sentence or two from a blog entry ended up more or less verbatim in the book. When the book came out last fall the blog became a site for promoting the book’s sales, and a way of continuing to cover the same “beat” even after the printing presses had gone to bed.