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It took me ten months to write a video course

A responsive map
A responsive map

Last year my Write the Docs talk in Budapest concluded that publishers are the worst. I said they lure suckers in with chump change, then make large profits off their endless toil.

But just a few weeks later I started a new project with my publisher, Packt. It wasn't a book this time, it was a d3.js video course.

Why?

Because why not. I've never made a video course before, but have strong opinions on why they suck. And trying out new media is fun.

If I can make a course that doesn't need skimming and doesn't make you watch at 1.5x speed, I've won. I basically want to make a course that I would want to watch.

Well, here we are. Ten months later and the scripts portion is done. Deadlines have long since whooshed by, my editors have given up on keeping a schedule, and I think that officially we are 6 months behind the original estimate.

They wanted to publish the course in October. It's February and I haven't started recording.

Oops.

Maybe I did dawdle. Just over 310 hours have gone into the writing of the scripts. An average of just an hour and a bit a day.

Such lazy.

Writing my d3.js book, Data Visualization with d3.js, the overall average ended up the same. But disregard the months of downtime between revisions, I invested three times as much daily effort into the book.

I mean, let's be real here. Writing this video course I was so lazy and in such creative despair, that one time a higher up editor sent me an email saying "So err, dude, we haven't heard from you in like two months. Are you alive?"

Yeah. That bad.

But I got it the fuck done! The scripts are finished. They are 32,000 words long, and they are good. I think.

As much time has gone just into writing the scripts as it did into the book start to publish. I'll be damned if I get another stinging review like this one:

the content is weak and looks more like a me too, rushed approach.

Seriously, screw you guy. That hurt. It was my first book and I slaved over that stupid thing for a year. Cut me some slack here!

As for the scripts, my editor is encouraging:

There isn't much feedback, the reviewers like the scripts as is(Can't say that I am surprised, your scripts were brilliant!)

But there is an estimated 220 minutes of material there. Three and a half hours. They asked for two hours ... oops.

Now I just hope my video recording and editing skills will be up to snuff. If this comes out as good as it looks in my head, it's going to be awesome.

Did you enjoy this article?

Published on February 5th, 2015 in Budapest, Business, d3js, Packt, Personal, Side Projects, Writing, Writing

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