HOW THIS BOOKCAME TO BE

I wrote this book in a room so small that we talked about using it as a closet.

One data storytelling tradition is to follow projects with a design essay that documents some lessons learned during the process, so future creatives may benefit. In that spirit, here is a short essay about how this book took form.

A new book is just another problem that can be analyzed and solved with creativity, right? The process I forged (and endured) to make this book flowed from the practices discussed in Chapter 19. I have since learned that some parts of my process were a bit idiosyncratic, and will focus on these more unique aspects of production.

My perspective as a data storyteller was the foundation and reference point throughout this book's composition. I believe what is useful for the analysis of a data story is not always relevant to the creation of a data story. I left out what is useful only to the critic. Instead, I wrote to what I believe is useful to the creator. I also consciously reached beyond technical aspects of the craft, in search of deeper meaning. Beyond these, I included what interested me.

As soon as the book was greenlit, I rushed to learn all I could about writing. Steven King's On Writing best motivated my day-to-day rhythms. I learned the importance of daily physical exercise, daily word-count goals, and the beauty of writing to very loud rock ‘n roll. Light exercise for cognition gave me space to think and kept my energy and spirits high. ...

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