Why Is This So Hard?

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It goes without saying that we all have a book in us; after all, we’ve all experienced something worth writing about or indeed have the imagination to create a story. And so, like many others, I started writing. I wrote with enthusiasm, passion and joy. And when I finally typed the words The End, I had a little cry (more of a dribbling howl in truth).

And then the editing process began.

I now spend more of my time googling grammar, such as when to use a semicolon or a comma than I do on Facebook, cooking and checking my emails combined. This is not normal. Surely I should already know all of this? But now I’m questioning everything. The structure, the grammar, even the actual purpose of the book. I am beginning to doubt myself.

Perhaps that is why there is indeed a book in all of us, but very, very few actually end up on the bookshelves. It’s quite a challenge. It also makes me admire those who have worked endlessly and tirelessly to produce a book. You have succeeded! Bravo!

Now, back to those wretched semicolons (and is that hyphenated or not?) … Give me strength …

Katie x

What do you struggle with most when writing your blog or book?

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39 thoughts on “Why Is This So Hard?”

  1. My grammar is reasonably good, but when I’m trying to proofread my own work I tend to see what I think is there rather than what’s actually on the page. I can also be lazy when it comes to my blog; I intend to come back to a scheduled post for a final proofread, but then can’t be bothered.

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  2. I’ve started a book a few… ok maybe many years ago. I got stuck. And I feel that is what is the hardest for me. Running out of content or drying up like a shriveled raisin creatively. Grammar is not an issue for me. I don’t use proper grammar when writing my blog, but in other types of writing I do.

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  3. I struggle most with punctuation. I try to write like I speak, and imagine things like comma’s fitting in when taking a breath, or — a hypen — for suddenly injecting an aside thought. Do you use Grammarly? Might be worth a months subscription as another proofreader!? Your efforts have inspired me to give my own book idea more thought, thanks! 👍

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    1. Oh wow, I’m so pleased if this has made you think more about your book idea … that’s wonderful! I’ve heard about Grammarly and I think I need to really look into it properly. Frankly I need all the help I can get! Thanks for the suggestion; I’ll look into it. Katie

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  4. Katie, some thoughts –

    We all have different talents. Without getting overly scientific (and talking about something I don’t know enough about!) I do know that the part of our brain that creates characters and scenes and so on is not the same part that is good at analysing text for mistakes and so on. I guess one could be called creative, the other analytical. Some people can switch between both, others are better off focusing on their strongest suits and hiring someone else (or being hired by someone else) for the other.

    Some excellent advice I read about blogging years ago was don’t write and edit in the same sitting, as they require different mindsets and different outlooks. Write a post all in one gush, then come back another time with your editor’s hat on to tidy it up. Otherwise the editor will constantly be holding back the creator, and you’ll never finish anything.

    As we spoke about a few posts back, writing the book for many of us (me included) is the easiest part. Much harder is organising, editing, proofing etc. When I did this for the biggest book I did, it nearly put me off writing another book for life. Of the overall time I spent on it, perhaps only 20% was the writing. In fact it pretty much did put me off – blogging I find way easier as it’s in smaller chunks.

    I think this is also why many people who blog and then write a book, essentially take a previous blog post for each chapter of the book, rather than writing it from scratch. Again it’s easier to handle and get your head around.

    I wonder if you might be better hiring an editor so it frees you up to get on with your next book. I have no idea what they cost these days, but if you add up all the hours and stress it will save you, it’s likely to be very much worth it!

    Best of luck Katie.

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    1. Crikey, this makes absolute sense. And yes, I completely get it about doing the writing in one sitting and the editing in another. What I’m finding is that I’m also trying to get the structure of the book in order. I’m including a few flashbacks to justify and explain things which I understand is vital to make a fully rounded memoir and they can’t all be at the beginning … so I’m trying to sort out that whilst also getting to grips on the grammar and punctuation. This is why I want to lay it all out on the floor like you! I think you’re right, a different mindset is needed for different areas; I think I need to sort out the structure first and then the punctuation and grammar. You’re a absolute star. Thanks so much for taking the trouble and time to explain this to me. Katie x

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  5. The most important thing is having a clear voice, and you do. An editor can sort out your punctuation, if it needs it. Everyone has their own style, so don’t get hung up on semi-colons. That just sounds painful! If you were semi-literate, your blog would have suffered. As it is, you are eminently readable and engaging. Now have a gingernut or three.

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  6. I find your posts very easy to read as to grammar well just need to read a few English Grammar books (yawn). I just write straight from my soul so what flows is it. I find those who write wanna, gonna, donna is like hearing nails scratching a blackboard at school. Katie keep up the good work, love your humour and style.

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  7. I’m sure you’ll get there, I’ve been doing similar in googling the use of punctuation around quotation marks… I just want to be consistent, even if it’s consistenly wrong! Keep working on it xx

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