Sunday, 13 February 2011

Progress of my Book

Towards the end of my tour of the USA, I decided to write a book about the trip. After I got back to the England and life returned to something approaching reality, I spent the time until Christmas writing one test chapter and investigating alternative publishing routes, book sizes, layouts, fonts, printing costs, book distribution methods and many other things I didn’t know writing and publishing a book.

Each of the 27 states that I visited will have a chapter of its own, plus about another 5 about planning of the tour / other introductory chapters – about 32 in total.

So far, I have written 5 out of that 32 - Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and South Dakota, plus a chapter giving tips about riding in the USA for visitors that Derek Polhill and Chris Luhman kindly helped with. With the help of a guy I used to work with, Brian Bascle, I have the cover and book title all sorted.

My cousins partner, Helen, is editing the book, my brother is doing the laying out of the words and pictures and my son Jeremy is going to draw the maps, so I am sort of keeping it in the family!

However, at this rate, I will take too long to finish writing the book, so I need to speed up somehow.

Having never written a book before, I am finding it quite difficult. To be fair, it is a book of photos supported by words, rather than a book of words that contains just a few pictures, but it is still very hard for me to do. I have always found it hard to concentrate on one thing for a long time, so I keep getting distracted and I find myself doing lots of other things when I should be writing. I am determined however to complete it and I want to finish it all and get it printed and available before the end of the year.

I will post an update in a few weeks time about how I am getting on. For now though, I must get back to writing.....

21 comments:

Raftnn said...

I could only imagine what sort of challenge writing a book would be. I have enough issues concentrating on doing my blog. Still it will be well worth it when finished, and I will look forward to reading it.

Geoff James said...

Great stuff Gary. I guess the forthcoming "riding season" in Europe will add another distraction! Keep it up mate, looking forward to buying a copy!

SonjaM said...

Gary, don't put too much pressure on yourself. I am not a writer but I imagine words and chapters need to grow in their own time. I am pretty sure you will finish your book one day as you planned it, and whenever that will be I can guarantee that I will enjoy my copy of it thoroughly.

Canajun said...

As a wanna-be writer who has been working on a family history book for nigh on 10 years now, all I can say is these things take time. Perhaps not that much time, but being a non-professional scribe means that the words have to flow at their pace if they are to mean anything.
Stick with it and it will happen.
Cheers.

George F said...

No hurry, like a motorcycle ride, slow always turns out better ;-)

iansolley said...

Being the project management sort of guy you are I am surprised that you have tackled it a chapter at a time - I thought you would have laid out the whole book in maps, and photo's - picked off the easy win text parts and then came back and filled in the gaps! - Simples

Michael Sussilleaux said...

Hang in there! I followed your trek daily and lived vicariously through you during your adventure. There's no rush in completing your book. The road is better than the finish.

Chris Luhman said...

Keep up the good work Gary! The small piece that I saw and your awesome pics from the trip. This will be a fun book when you are done.

-Chris @ everydayriding.org - year round riding in Minnesota

Charlie6 said...

Gary, I've toyed with the idea of making a book out of the blog....fleshing out the blog entries I wished to highlight.

I look forward to your book!

dom


Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Redleg's Rides

Gary France said...

Roger / Raftnn – I am finding out it is a challenge that is pretty big!

Geoff – I have good news for you. I posted at the end of my tour that anybody had commented on my blog before 20th November would get a free copy – so there won’t be any need for you to but one!

Sonja – The words do grow at their own pace, but I don’t have a good memory, so I need to write while I can still remember what I did!

Gary France said...

Canajun – To be honest, I struggle between getting the balance right between getting something written down to record what I saw and writing it creatively so that it reads well. I put myself in the wanna-be writer as well, so it’s a challenge!

George – Trouble is, there is a hurry, so I get it written in time while I can still remember it!

Ian – LOL. I did think of doing it like that, but I prefer to work on one thing at a time, so one chapter at a time it is!

Gary France said...

Michael – I am pleased that you followed my tour daily. I do want to finish the book as early as possible so other rides that I am going to do don’t make the whole thing a blur!

Chris – Thanks, I think I need to approach the writing in a more business-like way, maybe dedicating say half a day at a time and lock myself away to just crack on and do it. It is early days yet and writing it is fun, but I don’t want it to become a chore.

Dom – You should do it, especially with the rather individual style of riding you do.

zi said...

I can't imagine putting that book together...but I can imagine it being just more than a bit of work.

Someday I'm gonna take your lead...only I'll go from West to East!

FLHX_Dave said...

Somehow I was logged in as "ZI"...errr...so...that was me...I think? That's what I get for using a public computer.

Gary France said...

Geoff – That should have of course read “....so there won’t be any need for you to buy one!” The T is too close to the Y on my keyboard!

bobskoot said...

Gary:

Do you have a room where you could be locked inside with a large slot at the bottom of your door to slip a plate of food under ? with an en-suite WC ? (just kidding)

When the movie comes out I'm hoping that you come back to direct it. I know it's a big task. I was going to do a BLURB book on my China trip and I am lost, and it is only one chapter.


bob
Wet Coast Scootin

Axel said...

No hurry, first get the Leading Ladies back in one piece :)

Gary France said...

Zi (LOL) / Dave – Putting it together is more challenging than I thought. I am glad I am doing it though.

Bob – That made me laugh! Blurb looks good, but a bit expensive. One of the problems with living in a digital age is we won’t leave much behind to show what we did when on this planet. Books last a lot longer, so I want my kids and grandkids to see what I did and a book is the best way of doing that. People keep books. People don’t generally pass down copies of computer files!

Axel – The LL should be back soon. Maybe another week or two.

Eve said...

Sounds to me like you're dedicated to it Gary. And making it extra fantastic takes time and hard work! We, your fans, don't want you to rush! When you get writers block, take a ride and regroup! Good things come to those who wait....AND RIDE!!!
Cheers!!!

Eve said...

PS took my first ride of the year yesterday....forgot to take a photo!!! DUH!!

Gary France said...

Eve - Dedicated, some of the time! I will be in a better position to go take a ride in a few days time, as...... the Leading Ladies are nearly home!