Years ago, my writing mentor suggested I turn my blog into a book. At the time I didn’t understand why that might be a good idea. That stuff’s done; ancient history, I thought--yesterday’s news. But after my memoir was published and I’d spent several months promoting it, I wasn’t ready to begin another writing project. I needed time and space.
I took long, leisurely walks. I wrote in my journal. I sat in silence. I let myself slow down. I listened.
And then one day my blog-to-book project, which felt like it had been if not stalking then at least following me, tapped me on the shoulder. I turned. It stared into my eyes and whispered, “It’s time. Revisit those posts. Do it now.”
It was not the kind of message that feels anxious and unsettling; rather, it came as a clear directive, from a wise, loving source that seemed interested in helping me help others.
Book Writing Made Easier
Before I knew it, I was off and running. The project took over. Although I spent long hours in my office, I never felt like I was working; it felt like I was taking dictation. As I wrote, I felt like I was being given everything I needed. Even when questions arose, their answers sprang to mind before I had time to ponder them. The words were there. Thoughts flowed. New stories came pouring out. It was the easiest writing I’d ever done, and it felt like I’d been given a gift: a new manuscript. Soon, with the help of two trusted colleagues, its title was born: Where Do You Hang Your Hammock? How to Find Freedom and Peace of Mind While You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book. This project emerged within weeks rather than years—although I’d been writing my blog for over a decade. Small steps taken steadily over time add up to a formidable journey.
Part of me wanted to dismiss and diminish my accomplishment, but then I realized that I’d be an ingrate if I allowed myself to discount something that had felt divinely inspired. So I didn’t take that bait. I remained grateful for the experience, as well as everything I’d learned along the way. I’d discovered why it had been a good idea to turn my blog into a book, and I’d also learned how to do it.
Why Turn Your Blog into a Book?
How to Turn Your Blog Into a Book
Be Open to Change
While your blog is likely filled with great content, especially if you’ve been writing it for years, it may not translate into a book right away. As you work with the material, it will take on a new shape. Be open. Listen. Trust what comes forward. If you’re lucky, you’ll be guided every step of the way and your book, which originated in your blog long ago, will gel into something greater than the sum of its parts.
If you’ve been blogging for years, you may have the substance of a book partially drafted. Culling, organizing, and expanding this material is a gift you give yourself as well as your readers. —But only if you’re called to do it. When thinking about what to write, follow your enthusiasm.
Don’t turn your blog into a book because you think you should.
Do it because the work feels relevant and alive.
Do it because you are not done with the work and the work is not yet done with you!
Post Script: Where Do You Hang Your Hammock: How to Find Freedom and Peace of Mind While You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book is due out next year.