Walking out of a bar after a 13 hour day and shipping another product to the ravening hordes of the Internet, I realized I wanted nothing in the world than to return to writing. But because time is short, committing to a 50K word book contract seemed a little optimistic. Writing 1K words a day -- my old daily goal -- felt unattainable. Soul crushed. Ryan Macklin, a friend of a friend, had posted on his blog the rules for getting back on the creative horse -- write 250 words a day, six days a week, so I read that a few times and thought about it.
Since, like most engineering professionals, I am super goal oriented, I cannot simply just say yes, let's just write aimlessly at 250 words a day on things. I talked this over with Rob Donoghue (The Walking Mind, a super compelling gaming blog) and he filled my ears with the woes of convention organization. Okay, I said. That's a project that has clear requirements, a clear set of customers and a clear end deliverable. I can design a mythical convention registration product and do theoretical delivery to production in blog form and mentally work through all the little complexities of something that seems so simple -- taking money and getting customers into a registration database.
Project Butterfly will work through this entire project from requirements to monitoring with as many small graphics to explain what is going on as possible. The trick is to explain everything from requirements to how to build a team to toolchains without skipping any steps. The end deliverable is a plan for a convention registration site scaled out to handle, say, San Diego ComicCon. Once completed, a link to the top with butterfly tags will get added to the site, and a new project will start focused on a completely different product -- or an iteration of the first project.