Archives for posts with tag: Book

I was on the phone the other day to a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen for a long time. We were organising a group meet-up a few months hence. She said, ‘hold on a minute, I’ll just get my filofax.’

I hadn’t heard that word in about 18 years. Yet, they were the must have item in the mid-to-late 80’s before the first personal organisers came on the scene. And yes, I mean personal organisers as devices, not people, as opposed to the classic posh joke: where’s the toaster? It’s his day off…

While we live in an increasingly digital and automated world, it’s perfectly OK for some people to embrace that world while still preferring the tactile comfort of leather and paper.

You could say the same thing about books of course. Even I, Luddite that I am, have a reader device these days, but when I go to second hand book sales about twice a year I stock up on half a dozen musty tomes for a buck each. They smell great and it’s still great to leaf through a novel, knowing exactly where you are in the book. Your reader tells you you’re 60% through, but you never know how much marketing stuff is crammed in at the end. You can easily navigate to other parts of the physical book in a couple of ticks, something that is a drag on a device, even if they have menu and bookmark functionality.

Filofaxes and books have a place in today’s world, along with calendars, day books, post-it notes and cards. When was the last time you sent someone a card that wasn’t for Christmas or birthdays?

 

I’ve decided that writing a book is hard, really hard.

I’ve been working on one for a good while. For a couple of months when I didn’t have too many commitments I made some excellent progress and got at least half of it done. Then I took on more work and also significantly expanded my portfolio of voluntary activities and the book started to gather the electronic equivalent of dust.

It’s not a question of discipline or commitment. I take a disciplined approach to my blogging, but it comes easy because I write about what I see and a lot of it is stream of consciousness. I’m committed to almost everything I do, otherwise there seems little point doing it. With a book, though, you need a plan and you need to write to that plan, and that takes more time. Time to research, time to create.

Time is what I don’t have. Certainly, I could spend less time with the family, I could do without some of the 8 hours sleep I know my body needs on a regular basis, or I could drop some of the other things I’m doing. But I don’t want to do that, because I’m naturally drawn to the portfolio career and a diversity of activities.

Writing a book is essentially a selfish, specialist activity in order to get it done. You need to put yourself first, and sacrifice things that are important to other people, things that they’re relying on you to help with. Generalists find this tough.

That’s why writing is book is hard, really hard.