January 16, 2008

Tons of Material On the Way

I apologize for being a bit slow. I've spent the last five days doing nothing but transcribing my notebooks and recorded interviews and organizing the massive amount of material I have from the Fallujah area. I realized I was not going to be able to proceed with my writing until I finished that, and it's a good thing I did. What I thought was going to be a single dispatch called The Last Mission, for example, will actually turn into a gigantic essay in three parts that might be too long for even a magazine like The Atlantic or The New Yorker.

Now that I have organized all my material, finally, I can tell you how many more essay-length dispatches I'll publish as soon as I have time to write them: eleven. I thought I had eight more, but I have eleven.

I wish I could chug through all this a bit faster, but I can't do justice to the material if I do. I have so much to work with in front of me that I feel like I'm writing a book. So please bear with me, and thank you for being patient.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 16, 2008 9:36 PM
Comments

You're such a tease, I'm drueling in anticipation.

Posted by: Kevin China Author Profile Page at January 17, 2008 1:04 AM

You think like a book author: large scale synthesis of material, less immediate than a prototypical blogger or journalist. Maybe you should write books.

Posted by: Creamy Goodness Author Profile Page at January 17, 2008 6:34 AM

excuses, excuses, excuses...LOL

Posted by: Snooper Author Profile Page at January 17, 2008 7:14 AM

"I have so much to work with in front of me that I feel like I'm writing a book."

Writing a book... what a crazy idea!

Posted by: Saint in Exile Author Profile Page at January 17, 2008 10:37 AM

I will be writing a book, and probably starting this year if all goes well.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at January 17, 2008 11:00 AM

Michael:

Perhaps the time has come to write that book all would-be writers yearn to write. The process would be a bit longer than publishing magazine size chunks, but I think it would well worth it.

Posted by: niraj Author Profile Page at January 17, 2008 11:02 AM

I wish I could chug through all this a bit faster, but I can't do justice to the material if I do.

Do justice to the material, it's going to be around for a long time. Back in the old days, newspaper types could write the occasional quick-and-dirty article and be confident that in a few months, nobody would bother digging up the microfiche to read it.

It's totally different now. Your archives are immediately accessible online, google makes them easily searchable, and outfits like archive.org make 'airbrushing' entries after publication easily detectable.

I have so much to work with in front of me that I feel like I'm writing a book.

Hm. How long would a compilation of your dispatches from Lebanon and Iraq be in hardcopy?

Posted by: rosignol Author Profile Page at January 17, 2008 12:42 PM

Rosignol,

All my dispatches in hard copy would exceed the length of a single book. But my book will not be a copy and paste job. It will be written with my dispatches used as draft zero.

I will include material from Afghanistan (after I get some) and from Iran (if they let me in). Also from Israel, especially front the front line of the Hezbollah war.

It will take a while, but books are particularly permanent and I don't dare rush it and do a hack job.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at January 17, 2008 12:49 PM

Hey, take your time and do it right. Your articles have generally been worth the wait ... :-)

Posted by: Warhorse Author Profile Page at January 17, 2008 1:13 PM

Yes, Michael-- no need to apologize. I'll be happy to wait...

Posted by: Michael Author Profile Page at January 17, 2008 7:22 PM
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