I started this blog a couple of years ago as a way of sharing knowledge and information about the small variety of topics that I cover. Considering I was home from work and the pandemic kicked into high gear, it was also an easy way to keep my sanity. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and speak with an interesting variety of people, from fellow bloggers to folks who have found my blog by accident and have chosen to follow it. It’s also been an important tool for developing and maintaining my writing skills.
Like many others skills and talents, writing is a kept skill; one that you begin to lose if you don’t use it frequently. In that light, my previous job involved the drafting of reports and required a certain level of writing skill that I wanted to maintain. This was also part of my motivation behind starting a blog. On some occasions, I’ve found myself drawing a blank on what to write about. That’s bound to happen, right? Even though I have a number of great topics to cover and decades of dealing with those topics, there are only so many original posts one can come up with. This is why I’ve occasionally found myself reaching out to friends and associates, asking their opinions on what I should write about.
And that’s an open invitation, to anyone reading this post. If you have questions, comments or ideas related to Buddhism, Martial Arts or Diabetes, throw me a comment. Hell, I’d love to HOST a couple of writers and post on their behalf. But sometimes, the ideas just don’t flow quite as easily as they should. At time of writing this, I’m quickly rounding the corner on almost 900 posts that I’ve published in two years. Not too shabby, from a thought-sharing standpoint. I’ve been having a running contest with myself as to how long I can maintain daily posts without missing a day. This post marks 484 consecutive days of publishing material without missing a day. I don’t NEED to do this, it’s mostly just a bit of fun to see how long I can maintain daily posts.
This has led to a question that has been asked of me on more than one occasion: “Why don’t you write a book?” Believe me, the thought has crossed my mind almost as often as the question has been asked. And don’t think for a second that I don’t have notes and materials compiled that could eventually lead to such a project. The problem is that there is a significant difference between authoring a daily blog and undertaking a such a large-scale project as publishing a book. And large-scale it would be.
Publishing a daily blog is reasonably simple. So long as you have topics that you have some in-depth knowledge of, you can usually manage to put out a post that can be read at people’s convenience. Maybe some will read it, maybe some won’t. A blog isn’t exactly a means of getting rich, although I’ve found some bloggers who try and make their monthly financial commitments through the advertisement revenue of their blogs. If they have the number of followers that allow it, good for them. But my point is that writing and posting a daily blurb about certain aspects of one’s life is a basically simple thing.
Writing an actual book takes years. I know some people who are convinced that if you can sit in front of a keyboard and type for 8 hours a day, they could knock out their life story within a couple of months. Although this holds SOME truth, there are a lot of aspects to publishing a book that most people don’t consider. First, you need to find a publishing company willing to take you on. This usually involves providing sample materials along with an overview synopsis of the book you’re trying to publish. If you’re lucky enough to get past all the rejections and find a publisher willing to help you get your book out, the real work begins.
As you write, you’ll likely be doing so without pay. Unless you’re freakin’ Stephen King, you won’t get a full year’s salary to sit at home and write. You may get a small commission to cover the start of your work, but payment is due upon completion of the work. Much like any other job. And since you’re not getting paid as you go, it can be a lean number of months until you see some green. Then you get to spend months debating, arguing and compromising with an individual who ISN’T writing your book but is put in place to ensure the book has a readable and sellable quality for its intended audience. This is called an editor.
Getting beyond all of those hurdles to get your book out is only the beginning. once your book is ready for release, you need to worry about advertising it, how well it sells and how well it’s received. That can make or break your ability to write as a career. Unless your ultimate goal is to write one book then call it quits. But my limited experience with most publishers is that they’re usually looking at the long-term and want writers to commit to released two or three books. That can be fine, but if your first book flops you may be looking at being cut out and never getting to those subsequent projects.
Last but not least, I guess it’s the overall format. I think we can all agree that my posts have potential to not only be informative but witty and comedic at the same time. I have the benefit of letting my sarcasm and attitude ooze out in certain respects, which can make for some pretty entertaining posts. this is something I may not necessarily be able to pull off, if I wrote an actual book. I’ve been through enough in my life to date that I’m sure there would be enough for me to compile it all in a book. But this begs the important question: Who would really want to read the story of some random Diabetic martial artist’s life? Better to receive it in small, daily doses. I’m easier to digest, this way. ☯