I had high hopes that I could transition this blog into a book easily, with a minimum of fuss and effort. Silly me, that’s now how reality works.If you decide you want to transmute a blog into a book, you will quickly discover that if you want the content to flow, just piecing together entry after entry will not work. A couple issues come up:
- Flow: Episodic/column writing is different from chapter writing, especially if you’re using multiple blogs to make up one chapter. Individual blog entries, for example, are written to be read as stand-alone pieces, with a beginning, middle, and end. However, this pattern doesn’t always flow well, especially if you want one section to lead into the next. The chapters have to make sense as one cohesive set of content, and that content also has to reflect the overall intent and theme of the book.
- Egotism: Another challenge I’m encountering with older blog entries is that my style has changed here and there over the years. My earlier entries are very author (me)-centric. Much of my earlier content assumes that my readers will find me endlessly entertaining and that I can just tell a story at will and expect you to hang in there until I get to the point. Maybe for a one- or two-page essay, not for a 200-page book. So I’m having to retool some of the writing so it’s more focused on you, the reader/consumer.
- Shelf Life: Some of my blogs reflect a specific point in history and comment on events in the news that date the material badly.
Therefore, as I find myself (re)writing old blogs and fitting them into a broader narrative, I’ve discovered that the blogs are serving as raw material for a book. Just throwing them together one after the other and hoping they make sense is insufficient.
Live and learn.