Carolina: Cruising Past 70: WOW: Transforming this Blog into a Book

Monday, February 6, 2012

WOW: Transforming this Blog into a Book

My fifth and final resolution for 2012 is to write a book. 

When I retired about 8 years ago from the Philippine business landscape, I  wanted to teach some, cook some, paint some, and write some. Well, my report card shows that I passed! I taught in three Seattle learning institutions in 2006-2008, married Bill in 2008 and have cooked  our meals since (I am so glad Bill eats anything!), and have sustained this blog for almost 2 years, satisfying my artistic bent with photography and my literary desires by thumping thousands of keystrokes on my laptop. Looking back, this cruising lifestyle has been just a shade less hectic than my driven years. And, I have 3 options for the future: continue this, truly retire, or try something even bigger!

A bigger idea is to transform this blog into a book! Now that we have some 2 months left in Florida, I might find the time to come to a decision point. After all, I already have about 160 pages written into this blog. I just have to find a good thread that will weave the posts and tie everything together. As I reviewed the books on RVing that are out in bookstores and Amazon, they all fall into 3 types: a compilation of adventures and commentary, a personal story, or a ‘how-to’ book. You cannot depend on me about how-to’s (Bill says my mechanical IQ hovers around 28) so which of the first two will it be?

Just Compile the Posts or Tell the Underlying Story?

There are many things unique about our situation that can be a springboard for good weaving. I am a late-age immigrant from 10,000 miles away here in America in a late-age marriage. We both retired from previously very driven lifestyles into the American RV community that is 95% white with many constraints: cozy living (115 to 350 square foot cozy), few sustained friendships, constant changes, no consistent health care or ministry and the distance of family.

Will a straight compilation of the two different kinds of posts in this blog (1) our lifestyle adventures, OLA, with the vivid descriptions of places, people, and activities and the 2) wonderings on wanderings, WOW, which are candid commentary on the cruising lifestyle be a workable thread? Will our unique perspective prove interesting for the melting pot of an American audience? Judging from the mild reception to this blog, it may not be good enough!

Or would adding the personal story that is going on behind the scenes be a better hook?  Does the excitement of RVing (seeing many interesting sites, learning about history, discovering great institutions, and good products, meeting interesting people, showing our children more of the country) compensate for the constraints of this lifestyle (health issues, immigration problems, emotional and social conflicts, financial constraints)?  Will it make or break our quest for a happily married life?

But even if the personal ups and downs will make the book very exciting, shall our personal problems be too uncomfortable for me to share?  More precisely, will Bill, a very private person, like my accounts of them? Do we have what it takes to write a book about the reality of our ongoing struggles behind the hoopla? The first option is definitely much easier to achieve! Maybe it should be somewhere in between!

Self-Publish or Seek a Publisher?

But the other dilemma is this: should I self-publish or seek out a publisher that will be willing to invest in the idea? Self-publishing will print a book faster but marketing will be more difficult. But then again, I really am not dreaming of producing a best-seller! Seeking a publisher requires patience and determination and may take months or years. But, then again, you get a lot of professional and expert advice and marketing from an established platform will be a lot easier. This is the decision point where I will be more stuck, I believe. It is a hard call to make.

Truly, this is one time that your comments shall be most appreciated! They may just get me unstuck!


  1. Good for you! Just self publish and put it on Kindle. They have a great way to do it. Going the old route will cost you money.

    Good luck! :D

    1. Thanks for the quick reply, Linda! That certainly helps!

  2. That is very well spelled You've done a great job of spelling out your options. It would seem that spelling out things that are very personal could be a bit risky. But your insights and the way you relate your experiences is very good. Good luck with the book.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Most of my friends chose the underlying personal story option.

  3. As an RVer I enjoy your blogs and also the idea of making a book is intriguing We are retired but not full timers and are trips are usually 10 days or less Now we have a new dog and we are taking her on a short trip and hope she likes living in a trailer.

    1. Hi Judy,
      I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. We felt we would be able to see the whole North American continent faster by RVing full time. Then afterwards we will be able to cover other continents. Also no two of our children or siblings are in a single state. So visiting them necessitated RVing, too!

  4. There are lots of publishers that you can find on-line but I would think that if you want a bigger audience and for your book to really count you would need a good editor. I would go for the adventure, experience with a smattering of personal insights and stories in between. Although RV living is not for me...unless it is like Robert De Niro's RV, it would be interesting to read about it.

    1. Thanks. This is a very good comment...a nice compromise!

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