need advice on new how to climb big walls book


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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 3, 2008 - 09:52pm PT
so i have been working on a How to Climb Big Walls book for about... 10 years or so.

Finally starting to get it done thanks to encouragement/editing from my dad... maybe 65% there.

To get over the final motivation hurdle, i was thinking of posting the chapters here and getting feedback, encouragement, slander, etc That way, my thinking goes, i can get out of the isolation that has been part of why this has been taking so long to finish.

also, by putting the chapters on the site now it would make the project feel "new" as opposed to the same old way i usually make books. it might be a fun experiment.

so, my question, do you think i should:

A) polish up the chapters before i post em up here? do some copyediting, try to get the text in "good rough draft shape"


B) just post the stuff as i go. lots of holes. tons of errors etc but the advantage is more stuff gets posted faster


PS: Directory of all Forum posts related to How To Big Walls book:
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 3, 2008 - 10:02pm PT
how do you work? you're posting this stuff for us to help you, how can we help?

Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Oct 3, 2008 - 10:22pm PT
I am writing the first in a series of math books and I sure move faster and get more done when people pop in and offer opinions. If I just sit down and try to get it done before lifting the kimono I am sure I would get far less done.

So, in my opinion, shows us what ya got and let the online crew motivate you to keep writing!

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 3, 2008 - 10:27pm PT
Polish up 1st, or else you'll get a bunch of comments on stuff you already know needs cleaned up.
John Moosie

Beautiful California
Oct 3, 2008 - 10:35pm PT
Just start. Make no commitments. If you don't like the way it is progressing, then change what you are doing. If you post raw stuff and are overwhelmed by too many basic corrections on this site, then edit the next chapter before you post it.

Boulder climber
Oct 3, 2008 - 10:38pm PT

You want Chongo's cell#?

Trad climber
Oct 3, 2008 - 10:40pm PT
I'm several hundred pages into a dissertation on Somalia's telecoms industry as an instance of 'development without state' so can feel your pain in terms of isolation and motivation. I've tried a few different paths, but what seems to be working for me ultimately is fairly polished draft chapters before receiving comments from those whose opinions I truly value.

The primary reason has less to do with earlier comments not being good or valuable, but that this allows me through work through my own thinking fairly exhaustively before asking others to open my eyes to new things. I've also found that busy folks put most effort into the first read of a draft chapter and less into subsequent re-reads such that you'll ultimately gain the most value when they are commenting on a well articulated version of your argument (or description as the case may be) rather than a version in which poor articulation clouds their understanding of what your argument/description is.

Just 2 cents from a guy sitting in a coffee shop on a friday night reading supertopo to avoid working on his dissertation!
Stanley Hassinger

Eastern US
Oct 3, 2008 - 10:45pm PT
If it's an experiment, then experiment. If it's not giving you what you want, then change tactics.

If it were me, I'd post stuff that at least has very minimal grammar errors. The comments you want are those that suggest stylistic changes or content changes, and you don't need to hear that such and such needs to be changed when you already know it's not the way you want it. You need to present to people what you think is the best you've got, and let them offer a new take that will make it even better. Giving critics less than your best will not be nearly as helpful to you.

That's just my opinion. It's not going to hurt you to throw any old thing up there.

Looking forward to reading it!


Gym climber
Fannie's Crack, AZ
Oct 3, 2008 - 11:54pm PT
You could post it as something like CLASH OF WRITER'S BLOCK XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXIIIIIIIIIIIII......every day. Hey if anybody's got a right to pi$$ us off it's you, huh? Saw you at the lift sorry I didn't get to met yer. P.E.

Chalkless climber
the Gunks end of the country
Oct 3, 2008 - 11:56pm PT
If you've been working on it that long, maybe hook up with Pass The Pitons Pete.
goatboy smellz

स्कन्ध, co
Oct 4, 2008 - 12:26am PT
Climbing is all about collaboration.
Post a rough draft and then watch what happens.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Oct 4, 2008 - 12:32am PT
Chris - if anyone deserves the right to use this forum as a personal diary - or a venue for excising demons, it is you.

Spew forth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111

Boulder, CO
Oct 4, 2008 - 12:35am PT
But if you post it here, who's gonna buy it?
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Oct 4, 2008 - 12:37am PT
There's nothing like a hard copy in hand...
goatboy smellz

स्कन्ध, co
Oct 4, 2008 - 12:38am PT
Aww busted...we are a cheap lot with cash but rich in nowledge.

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Oct 4, 2008 - 12:44am PT
rapid fire post...

hard copy? is that what the kids are calling it these days.

"instance of 'development without state'" - preposterous notion or misleading title at least. post up abstract or invalid.

let's see your drawers chris. flash us some fiber or digital paper at least.


Trad climber
Oct 4, 2008 - 01:19am PT
Munge - the entire Somali telecoms project I'm working on is predicated on it being a paradoxical instance of development 'without state'. So yes, utterly preposterous according to conventional wisdom (making you conventionally wise).


Oct 4, 2008 - 01:23am PT
"need advice on new how to climb big walls book"

How does one climb a big wall?

No one ever seems to reach the top, otherwise we would move on to greater things?
T Moses

Trad climber
Paso Robles
Oct 4, 2008 - 01:45am PT
WB, you know it's the journey that counts not just the end. Yer just stirrin' the pot as usual!

Post up! Experiment a little. If it isn't exactly what you want modify it. We would be glad to help and enjoy the creative process.

Oct 4, 2008 - 02:04am PT
Does that mean you just wander aimlessly forever?

Where does this journey go?
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