Knight Challenge, John Leonard, writing productivity, outliners [Links for November 11th]

  • MediaBugs: an open service for anyone to report, track and try to resolve errors in media coverage: My project in the Knight News Challenge has made it into the second round. Have a look and post a comment! [Update: unfortunately this link no longer works — Knight seems to have taken all the applications down from public view.] It’s been tough to focus on this while trying to finish the book but they write the checks, so they get to name their deadlines. I’m excited about this idea — applying the concept of bug-tracking software as used in open source projects to the news media, a proposal I first floated years ago (followup here; of course the idea has since evolved). We’ll see whether I get the chance to try to build it.
  • Twitter / denise caruso: @scottros crap! 1500 words …: Denise Caruso wonders: what’s a reasonable target for how many words to write in a productive day? I’d Twittered at the end of the day yesterday that, having written 1500, I was ready to quit. She’d been aiming for 3000. I think it all depends on your style (I tend to polish as I go along rather than speed-drafting rough cuts for later refinement). Also on the overall size of the project. I’ve been writing roughly 1000 words per day for months now (with breaks for family, interviewing and other research). There’s a different pace to a marathon than a sprint…
  • Taking note: Outlines and Meshes: Interesting thoughts on the nature of outliners springing off a post I wrote a couple years ago that still seems to get regular traffic. Maybe there’s something to this outlining thing…

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  1. I find 1,000 a day is perfectly reasonable when writing books. Journalism is entirely different, and can be much more or less, but it’s never written in the same state of concentration.

  2. Scott Rosenberg

    You know, I know that, alas. The Knight people made a point of saying, “All entries will be public,” which I thought was pretty cool, and meant that I could link to my application. But then after I guess the first round closed, they seem to have taken all those applications offline again. So there’s no way to fix the link right now. Sorry. If the project gets funded I’ll be posting much more about it, for sure.


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