Thursday, June 13, 2013

Reflection: From Blog Posts to Books .

Lately I have been working on putting my blog posts into a hard copy book. Each six months, I make a new book, and the hope is that eventually, at the end of all things I will have an entire volume of my life. It will sort of be like an encyclopedia collection, albeit hopefully a touch more interesting.

I don't spend too much time editing, but even so it takes a long time. Copy and paste every single post from the internet to the MS word document I'm using. I have to only use the Firefox browser, because it copies text a certain way. I need to adjust spacing, and include post breaks (usually just a * * * sandwiched vertically by blank spaces). And somehow the spacing always gets totally screwed up. Certain words will go from legible text to those random boxed wing ding characters, and I have to search for those. Ideally I would reread through all my posts to correct grammatical , spelling and contextual errors, non-sequiturs and confusing parts. Because as I'm sure many of you know, Blogger neglects to correct spelling as you type. Thankfully my Macbook Pro usually does correct spelling no matter where you're typing or what application you are in, but regardless it sometimes even changes stuff to a word you don't want.

In the essence of saving myself time in the long run, I've begun to type my posts a little bit slower. My fingers have a tendency to like to really fly across the keyboard, mishitting all kinds of keys like a toddler trying to play Chopin on the piano. My hope is that taking a little bit of extra time on each post will save me a lot of editing time later down the road.

The author I currently work for bought me a book a few months ago called "APE", co-authored by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. It's all about self-publishing a book, digitally, from start to finish. I knew some extremely basic ideas about the publishing process just from talking with my boss, but I realized after reading the book that what I really knew was practically nothing. There is so much more than typing words on a page, designing a cover and printing it.

Because of the sort of work I do for the author (Carl T. Smith if you have any interest in looking him up) I focused mainly on the entrepreneurial section, which revolved around marketing techniques and other similar topics. That alone blew my mind. In a sea of social media options, automated application supplements, and 6 billion people in the world, it just isn't easy to pick which platforms you want to use, because Lord knows you cannot use and manage and be active on them all. I only work one, maybe two hours a day and I rarely even get to log into all the things that we run, between Twitter and Facebook, Author's Den, Goodreads and more.

Basically what I'm getting at here is that putting a book together takes so much time. Don't get me wrong it's totally awesome to have my words printed on the page, and while I fully expect this website to be here and hold my info, it's really nice having a hard copy of it. It's cool to even see a bar code on the back cover, with a blurb that I wrote myself about that particular six months worth of time, and even an ISBN number assigned by Lulu, the online publisher I use.

I'm sure that there are errors all over the place in the book. But in the end, the main point gets across. However as of recently, while I've been copying over my posts from early 2013 to a word document, I noticed that a lot of my posts have been really short. It made me start to wonder if maybe trying to blog everyday can be detrimental. That maybe what should yield a nice stream-of-consciousness flow in fact results in an obstructed thought process. I do really like writing everyday. And sometimes I just don't have time and so I write multiple posts later on to "catch up." I don't mind doing that in the least. But if I do write, I want to have the time to make it worthwhile. To really be able to get a little bit lost in my thoughts and explore all that I'm writing about. Granted sometimes I don't have that luxury. But when the majority of posts I see from myself seem abrupt and cut off, as if almost unfinished business, it seems as though I can do better. And so in the coming weeks, I'm going to attempt to let my thoughts seep through my mind to my fingers as water through a tea bag -- letting out all those tantalizing literary flavors, while filtering out the nonsense.

I hope you've enjoyed the journey so far, as I know I sure have. Everyone is busy, everyone has an ongoing list of things to do, places to go, and people to meet. Sometimes you get behind, sometimes you need to regroup, sometimes you need to focus in and sometimes you need to step back and look at the big picture and adjust your focus (to use a huge photography metaphor...). But what can you do? That's Simply, Life.


  1. This is actually quite a fantastic idea...kind of like memoirs in a way. I will admit I don' think I could do this - I'm way too unorganized with my posts.

    1. I'll write another post soon and post pictures of the books. Turned out pretty cool, I can't wait to publish some more, I have 3 more to publish currently


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