PDQ Pro Writing Retreat: Day One (2/6)

PDQ Pro Writing Retreat: Day One (2/6)

White board brainstorming

White board brainstorming

We were both up early to start work. And there was no coffee. A 6am run to the grocery came up empty too, because of course there were closed. So it was off to Dunkin (because America runs on Dunkin) for java and a pound of ground.

Back at the loft for a light breakfast and the kickoff. First things first, plot the entire book. Bill came up with a new pyramid structure to explain the meat of the system, and that replaced the existing linear (but really dry) theory sections. Our strategy going forward will mix theory with real-world examples and tactical assignments at the end of each chapter.

For this type of work the painted white board wall turned out to be a great tool. Although originally skeptical, I am now a convert to the paint. What would have taken hours using remote software got done in 30 minutes face-to-face. It helped that we have both been using and working with this system for over 20 years.

Then it was time to discuss work flow. We could wander off willy-nilly, writing all over the place, but this effort is about sticking to (loose) metrics. We will each write in our own document, stored in a shared, synced workspace. Any creative team is probably required to use something like Box or Dropbox nowadays, and we are using Nexsan’s File Transporter products. These little “private cloud” devices have been on the job for over a year and really improve our collaborative workflow. Sure we could use some other cloud storage service, but who knows where those public servers have been, right?

With workflow sorted, it was time to get down to writing. My first topic was performance assessment and Bill worked on skills and knowledge. The writing is rough but the words are in, with a daily total of 2,704. We both tried to bank some words because tomorrow Bill has an interview, then we are both attending a job fair.

Looking ahead at the rest of the week, we will settle into a daily routine. Flipping the switch from one mode of living to forced and focused writing wasn’t perfectly smooth, but it will get easier, I’m sure.


PDQ Pro Writing Retreat six part series

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