Today, I formally began writing ‘Of Opinions’ – The Book. I have been planning around it for months, probably from the beginning of this year. I worked out quite a while ago how I will structure it. I, more or less, know which subjects will feature on it that I’ve already touched upon here, and a few subjects that the brevity of a blog post will not allow me to deal with properly, which is why they will find their place in the book. I have plenty of “rejected” material sitting in my computer that I wrote in the course of the last year, mainly rejected for blog reader attention economy. I hope to incorporate some of it into the book.
It hasn’t been a brilliant start though. Last night, I watched a three-hour documentary on Napoleon. I know I shouldn’t have binge-watched, but it was such a captivating story, and the documentary was so well-made. The consequence was, I went to bed at 1am, tried to sleep for an hour, sat up and read some Austen to lull me to sleep, and finally gave up at 4am to turn on the computer. Napoleon’s daring and competency to march into lands with the express purpose of conquering them, all the while relying on some lucky star, gave me the impetus to open a new word document and begin on my ‘Introduction’ to the book based on my blog. It will not be called ‘Introduction’ in the final cut, but then, I do have a penchant for coming up with dreadful names (as my blog name and category names will attest) so, ‘Introduction’ seems relatively safe.
So, you see, I clearly was under some influence, no matter how unrelated it is to what I write in the book. The writing has been quite revealing so far. I am a fast writer, as my Real Time Rambles might show, so churning out a few thousand words in a couple of hours is not that difficult for me, once I know what ideas those words will contain. I have, obviously, written sections of this introduction in the past few months, though today’s session only retained the opening line, one I’ve been fixed on for quite sometime. I won’t reveal it to you now, but what I did find revealing about today’s writing was, I lost the sense of comfort and trust I have in my blog readers as I draft my blog posts, even though I am also writing the book for them. The introduction will contain a little bit about the history of this blog, why I write it, what I’ve learnt writing it, and why I feel the need to write a book based on it. But, I definitely felt some added pressure of being judged by unknown and unestimable persons, bringing all those fears first-timers feel for having the audacity to write a book. You’re not spared that even if you’re in familiar land, among familiar people.
I wish to write 10-15 essays, that will be approximately 5000-7000 words each. There are many who post blog posts that are this long, but I’m clearly not a captivating or popular enough blogger to warrant that sort of dedication from my readers. Along with the introduction, I expect the book to be around 80,000 words. There will be lines and ideas published on the blog that will be included as and when relevant, though that is not to cheat or be lazy and not write a proper, original book. I doubt whether any of the potential readers will even remember the repeated material, and there is plenty of material that has never made it here. Obviously, the writing will be much more polished and publishable than my blog posts, having more time for revisions. But, there isn’t much more publishing faff I can afford. I will obviously self-publish and I am writing with the very realistic notion that it will hardly sell copies. Of course, I am the eternal optimist, ever hoping my fortunes to change. However, I am writing this for my fortune to change in non-mercenary ways. Firstly, I’ve realised it is important to have written a book to be taken seriously as a writer, even if it isn’t a form you prefer. Secondly, I feel I owe it to this blog and what I do here, to do this. It just feels right. Wish me luck!