A new digital story… thoughts on writing a text book

This post is the first in a series that will chart the progress of a new digital story…a new text book I am writing with  Prof Nina Reynolds for Sage on Understanding Digital Research. We have set ourselves the month of June to write most of the 80,000 word text, whilst my co-author is in the UK.

post its and laptop

Reflections based on the first day.

  • Lots of planning with highlighters and clear responsibilities have  now  been allocated – this has helped us to feel more comfortable with the major task ahead and the minor staging posts identified.
  • Agreement not to get hung up on detail at this stage, editing to be done later but to keep to chapter outlines previously agreed.
  • Quite a bit of discussion over words and terms  – we now feel a little more at  ease with each others’ terms of references and how we, as different types of researchers, use certain words.
  • Using one single master template document and dating  the file whenever worked on  is working – so far…
  • Actually getting writing  in the same room was productive, we feel as though we have started something finally after months of Skype chats.
  • Having pre-read and annotated relevant competitor and complementary texts with sticky notes is helping to make better use of our time.
  • Having a neutral office space is helpful, neither mine nor hers  so no one owns the space.
  • We will need to self limit our caffeine intake and  offer  regular words of encouragement to each other.

No doubt there will be issues and disagreements but for now  we are in the honeymoon phase of co-authorship.

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