Writing in Markdown

If you haven’t used Markdown to write in a rich(er) text format, then you are missing out. I pretty much write all my technical documentation in Markdown. It’s pretty awesome and I don’t know why it took me so long to find it. I didn’t start using it until around 2013.

What is Markdown

Markdown was created by John Gruber.

According to Wikipedia.

John Gruber created the Markdown language in 2004 in collaboration with Aaron Swartz on the syntax, with the goal of enabling people “to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, and optionally convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML)”

What does that even mean? Well it just means it is plain text that has a few symbols to make it mean something more. Once you write a little of it then it’s much easier.

I’m still not sure how DaringFireball made any money, but I guess once you get traffic it’s all gravy.

The Objectives

Time Management

I write on various applications and in various places. I am always just jotting stuff down in Evernote, voice notes on my phone, sketching on my Post-it pad, etc. I’m totally distributed. I think everywhere so I might as well be able to write everywhere.

There are so few minutes of available time in my day that I want to make use of them. If I tallied up all my available time in a day and aggregated it I would have easily written a few novels by now. But that is another topic.

Deficiency Analysis

I tried to identify all the areas that were keeping me from writing. The biggest was obviously motivation and getting back in the flow. I fail the biggest recommendation I have read: write every day.

The second problem was my editor sucked. I was using OpenOfficeArg. Totally a busted app now. Sorry guys. Time to ditch you.

The third problem was that my project was getting too ambitious and I couldn’t keep all the links to the ideas. Part of that reason was the gaps in writing time.


This is my proposed workflow. It will be adjusted over time.

  1. break every chapter apart into it’s own file
  2. start a new chapter
  3. provide headers with tags and various elements
  4. with a script fill the headers with any markdown notes
  5. use the headers to link the files together
  6. concatenate the files
  7. generate a table of contents based on the files and headers
  8. generate a project map based on collected data
  9. publish in HTML for ebook
  10. collect $$$

As the project progresses I will be posting updates on my evolving workflow.