Walk the Walk

A smile a day, helps keep the nerves at bay
During the last few months, I've been polishing and formatting my first e-book of short stories, which will be available on Amazon next week. The whole process has been exciting and I've learned a lot, but some days, frustration has risen to a whole new level. Why won't my contents page work the way I want it to? Why am I still finding typos at this late stage? Why do I have to use yet another program when I've paid for this one? Shall I use a pseudonym or not? Will readers enjoy my work? And so on...

Normal emotions, I'm sure. Perspective and a little distance can help calm the nerves, so out I went. There in the distance, a beautiful field of sunflowers bent their heads towards me and beckoned me to take a closer look. So I did.

Walk this way
Walking through this wild field of blooms (and pot holes), I realised that the slight imperfections of each flower added to its beauty. Nature is not meant to be perfect but appreciated and admired - flaws and all. This little fella is adorable, even though one of its ears is a bit wonky.

Neigh
So, I will do my very best to format that contents page how I want it, finally rid the stories of the irritating typos, stop complaining about having to learn new computer skills and yes, for my short stories I will use the pseudonym of Tessa Castello - an Italian take on the meaning of my name Burggraf.

What has been the most frustrating part of the writing process for you?

Comments

  1. All we can ever do is the best we can in any given moment. I don't believe perfection exists - in anything - so bravo for nature showing you that so beautifully.

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  2. Hi Nicola - good for you for getting your book organised - I must do mine shortly ... then the decisions on things ... techie life isn't the easiest is it ...

    Have you seen Elizabeth Spann-Craig's thoughts on pseudonyms? You might need to email her - I couldn't find it - there isn't a search box ... but Elizabeth is very knowledgeable ...

    http://elizabethspanncraig.com/blog/

    Good luck .. my frustration - getting started!! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you for the tip, Hilary. I have read a few of Elizabeth's posts. I'll pop over and make contact. Have a lovely weekend.

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  3. Ah, typos - the bane of every writer. No matter how many times you check, there'll always be one lurking. As long as there isn't one on every page, you'll be fine.

    It's an interesting, fun, frustrating and scary process - but worth it in the long-run. Good luck :-)

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    1. Thank you, Annalisa. Found another floating comma last night - aaagghhh!! Have a lovely weekend.

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  4. What a darling horse--such long legs! Good luck on publishing your book. I'm about a week behind you!

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    1. Thank you, Jacqui. Exciting times for you too! Wishing you all the best.

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  5. Well I'm definitely interested to see what Tessa has to say. Though Nicola will always be my favorite lady. :p

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    1. Aaaww bless you, Sheena. That's put a smile on my face. Thank you.

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  6. Frustration should be a four-letter word, huh?

    And 'perfect' is overrated...just saying.

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    1. Oh, I'm brilliant at four letter frustration words :) Thanks, Mac. Hope you are feeling better with each day.

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  7. My frustration: putting into the right words the image and story I see in my head!

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  8. I've taken many walks to calm my nerves about publishing. I can't wait to get your book.

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    1. Thank you, Medeia. The nerves are fast and furious at the moment.

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  9. Beautiful photos, Nicola, and congratulations on getting your short stories ready for publication! All the very best with the collection - will look out for your new name.

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  10. Congratulations to you. I have no idea how to format a book. I'm an editor, and I find typos in my old blog posts all the time. It's difficult to get rid of them.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Typos are the bane of my life at the moment. Little critters turn up everywhere - I'm sure they have a life of there own. I didn't put them there :)

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  11. That's so pretty! And I love the little horse. I want to give him a hug.

    Good luck eradicating the typos!

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    1. He was only recently born - about a month ago. Thanks for popping by :)

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  12. I'll be self-pubbing a novel or two this winter and I'm terrified about formatting the TOC (Table of Contents)! I'll have to go out and look for a few pretty sunflowers and foals to get my head out of Frustrationland. Good luck!!

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    1. Wishing you loads of success with your new novels, Lexa!

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  13. I grow sunflowers in a small patch aka garden. lol But I'd love to see a field like this. How lovely.

    Congrats on your first ebook coming out soon!

    I second what Janie said. I'm also an editor and I still find typos in my own work. I actually had some typos from Hurricane Crimes recently fixed because I didn't see them, my editor didn't see them, and my proofreader didn't see them. It's normal, but if you want to be more secure about the typos try to find someone to proofread your ebook.

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    1. :) It's been proofread :)I think the typos just appear out of nowhere :)

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  14. Every job has its beautiful and fun parts, the reason you love it and went into that line, and the awful, gritty stuff that you don't want to do but that has to be done as part of the job. That's the pot that comes with the plant.

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    1. So true!! Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Congrats on even getting it this far. I'm sure after a walk in the wildflowers you'll come back to that table of contents formatted. Correct the typos you find and don't worry about the rest - I doubt there's a book out there without at least a few of them.

    Thanks for sharing these pictures - so lovely. :)

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    1. Thank you for the words of encouragment, Nicki. Much appreciated. Have a great weekend.

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  16. Congrats Nicola! How marvellous that you have your book ready to publish. All the very best!
    Zero typos, zero error just doesn't exist, so long as they are few and far between they won't distract the readers. Great that a field of sunflowers encapsulated that for you, such beautiful photos!

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    1. Thank you so much Nilanjana. I appreciate the encouragement and words of wisdom. Have a lovely weekend.

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  17. Good luck on your book release.

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  18. Although I did not know this lady at all, when she passed away, there was a lot of love for Tina from Alex and everyone and she loved sunflowers. I also watched a fun movie called Calender Girls last night where sunflowers was a big thing in the film. I think this is a sign that you will be successful and all will work outa well.

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    1. Such kind words, Birgit. I've actually got goosebumps reading your comment. Thank you so much. Have a lovely weekend.

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  19. Sunflowers are beautiful aren't they? Such a great sentiment, things don't have to be perfect to give great pleasure but I'm sure your new e.book will be brilliant. Congratulations, Nicola.

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, Suzanne. Means a lot :)

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  20. Congratulations! Don't worry, every book has typos.

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  21. A walk amongst wild flowers is always a good idea.

    Hope all goes well with the book.

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  22. I remember all these same things when I was publishing my own book of short stories. I proof read it, my husband proof read it, a friend proof read it. New things were found each time. Then a book blogger, who is also a professional proofreader, looked at it and found a whole lot of other things.There will always be doubts that you've caught everything but at some point you have to let go and send your baby into the world. Good luck.

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    1. Wise words - I remember your journey so well, Wendy :) Thank you for popping by and taking the time to comment. Really appreciate it.

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  23. Lovely photos - I especially love the little foal. Congratulations on the new book :-) xx

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  24. OH my, too many frustrations to count! But what else am I going to do? Knit? Crochet? I think not. Good luck and congrats on the upcoming release :)

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    1. Thank you! I tried knitting once - let's just leave it at that - LOL!

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  25. Congratulations!
    For me the hardest part is everything after the writing: submitting, query letters, trying to write a bio that makes me sound interesting... :D

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    1. I'm experiencing the same. Thanks for popping by, Jennifer.

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  26. Congrats on the upcoming release!
    The frustrating part of writing for me is a toss up between commas and patience.

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    1. Thank you, Patricia. Commas do my head in! They just float about without a care in the world :)

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  27. Yep, getting things ready for publication is so stressful. But please, Nicola, no matter how bad things get, keep enjoying the experience. I didn't remember to enjoy mine and regret it. After all is done and your work is published, you will be happy for the hard work you put in. Good-luck. You are more than welcome to do a guest post on my blog to promote your new release. Just let me know. Good-luck and congratulations!

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement and offer to help. I'll be in touch and would love to do a guest post :) Have a lovely weekend, Murees.

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  28. I think it was the Navajo who, when weaving a rug/blanket, deliberately make a small mistake because they believed only Got was perfect.

    I can accept a 1 or 2, maybe even 3, typos/mistakes in a book, but more than that looks a little sloppy, I think. I'm struggling with this very issue as I get my own book ready for publication. Dang, it's hard to find them all...

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    1. So excited for you, Bish! The errors seem to pop up from nowhere :)

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  29. Yeah, it will never ever be perfect. I've gone back to a few of my older ones and re-edited and still found a few typos, even after they were edited a ton. Just gotta do what you can do and let the rest go.

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    1. Thanks for the advice, Pat :) And thank you for popping over.

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  30. Very excited for you, Nicola. I look forward to those stories. As to typos in books. . .I think the more eyes on your manuscript the better. Even after a professional editor had at my book, reader friends found errors. I'm forever grateful for those people.

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  31. TOC--I feel your pain. I never got mine as good as I wanted, but close enough to work. I put my book on Amazon in early June and am in the middle of a book tour online. Nothing painful about that except the time it takes to write a great guest blog. I'm lucky so many bloggers volunteered to spread the word. And yes, I will be going back over the text again to search out typos and such. It's a comfort to know that I have the power to fix and re-upload the book myself.

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    1. I hope you are enjoying your book tour, Tamara. Wishing you many sales :) Having the power is the very reason why I chose to self-publish.

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  32. I need a little of your attitude. Congrats on getting the collection together. The typos thing is a problem for everyone.

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  33. I found typos after publication - which is way more frustrating than finding them before publication. But, I've seen it in the best books out there so I know it's not just me.
    Just do your best and keep on writing!

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    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement, Tyrean.

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  34. Nicola, I wish you all the best. I know. I formatted my book for Amazon, but the Contents page got me. I called in the big guns...my husband who sorted it. It's a great experience to format yourself. I wanted to learn and found it easier than I expected...except for that dratted Contents page.

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    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement and for sharing your experience. Lovely to see you, Denise. Wish you a lovely week.

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  35. Hugs, Nicole! Congratulations! Just got your book and can't wait to read it. I can imagine the process from starting a book to completing it. I know all about starting it...as for completion, if guilt could kill.. Sigh.

    That sunflower is so gorgeous. And the little fella! Oh - we see a lot of donkeys in our area and they're quite adorable.

    So happy to see you over at my place! I keep thinking of that virtual coffee!

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    1. Thank you, Vidya. It's taken almost three years to get to this point. Still at the beginning of my writing journey. Next mammoth task is my novel. My lovely editor is guiding me in the right direction but LOTS of hard work ahead of me :)

      Thanks for making me smile each day and we will meet up for that virtual coffee very soon:)

      Have a lovely week.

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  36. I can so relate! I'm astonished that after all these years I'm still not able to write one satisfying first draft. Haha. It's still 20+ later, and I'm still not happy. Beautiful flowers, Nicola. And the pony is a keeper.

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    1. So pleased, I'm not alone :) Thanks for sharing Joylene. Means a lot! Have a super week.

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  37. I look forward to those stories. As to typos in books. . .I think the more eyes on your manuscript the better. Thought Nicola will always be my favorite lady. Sakura Beauty

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