5 Challenges Of Being A Non-Fiction Writer, Blogger And Published Book Author

Writing non-fiction isn’t easy. Like any craft, it’s never short of challenges. But with non-fiction writing, there’s constantly the challenge to actually keep doing it and achieve something with it.

After so many years as a non-fiction writer, I’m now a published author of a non-fiction book. No, it’s not my first book which I’ve been working on for a while. Recently I published a chapter in a compilation self-help book (more on this at the end of the post). The timing of it comes on the back of my fifth year as a non-fiction, multicultural blogger.

The challenges as an artist are endless. So are the possibilities.

The challenges as an artist are endless. So are the possibilities.

Non-fiction writing involves telling stories about the real world, telling true stories. The narratives provide commentary on everyday events, the everyday experiences we see, feel and go through. Sharing and educating others on the finesses of the world, to enlighten about reality, is what many non-fiction writers aim to do.

There are different types of non-fiction text like newspapers, biographies, academic journals, travel guides and more. Speak of non-fiction writing, speak of presenting facts and reflective opinions – which is always easier said than done.

It’s challenging and daunting putting our personal opinion out there as a non-fiction writer. Not everyone shares the same view and our opinion can rub someone else the wrong way, igniting fiery discussions and insults. Not everyone will agree and be convinced by what we write and we may come to question why we write non-fiction.

Through writing about multiculturalism, racism and stereotypes, I hope to motivate others to see the beautiful that is difference. Everyone has their own unwavering opinion on these sensitive topics, and every opinion has the right to be heard. While I make my stance clear in each blog post, I also like to write about different sides of the topic and welcome opposing comments – to respect different opinions, to learn from you. Funnily enough, present both sides of a story and we may be lambasted a hypocrite (this thread on Reddit claims I am two-faced because of a certain post I wrote). But we can’t please everyone.

Some see non-fiction writing as dry and boring, inundated with mindless facts that they do not need to know. As a non-fiction writer, there’s the challenge to convince with our argument, to break down mind-boggling facts and what we believe in into something that’ll strike a chord with others. Arguably this is called dumbing down ideas, but we all have different levels of understanding, and more importantly, perception is subjective. As one of my university lecturer’s once said:

“It’s how you argue that makes a good piece of writing.”

There will always be voices around us telling us otherwise.

There will always be voices around us telling us otherwise.

Non-fiction writing takes time, and even more time if we feel we don’t have enough material to work with. And don’t know what to write about. We can’t make up reality. Putting across a strong, original opinion takes research: reading up on history, keeping up to date with the latest facts and what like-minded others have said. It takes me about two nights after work to plan each blog post, then another two nights online researching and comparing other opinions with my own thoughts and conclude what I truly believe in. Then it takes about a week and a half – maybe more – to draft, redraft and upload a post.

Responding to comments and reading blogs take up more time than I like. I could do this all day; I love it and it makes my creativity tick. Many nights after work all I do is read and comment on blogs, and respond to comments on my blog. As much as I want to comment on each of the many blogs I follow, it’s impossible…and I have to remind myself of that. Also, my full-time job is ever so engaging and I have no intentions of giving it up soon to make more time for writing.

And so it can be isolating being a non-fiction writer: there’s a need to be alone with our thoughts about the world so we can collect them and piece them together to tell stories. There’s a need to believe in our own thoughts and stories no matter how crazy others think we are. As an introvert, I’m perfectly okay with this.

It can always feel lonely along the journey, and at the tip of our dreams.

It can always feel lonely along the journey, and at the tip of our dreams.

On that note of being alone, my multicultural blog isn’t a typical blog. It’s not a travel blog, or an expat blog, food blog, art blog and so on. Out of the ordinary non-fiction writing can work against you: unfamiliar tales of the real world often tell the harshest realities that we would rather not hear about. To everyone that has stopped by this multicultural blog, thank you.

Arguably it’s harder to make a name for ourselves or at least get noticed with non-fiction compared to fiction. With fiction, one can make up pretty much any character and storyline and it wouldn’t come across as wrong – anything goes with the imaginary. With non-fiction, there are similar voices out there. There’s only so much we can say about a certain topic and we risk being repetitive. Countless consumers welcome predictability as predictability is often relatable, comforting. But if we’re a non-fiction writer who wants to push boundaries and be a bit left of centre, it begs the question: do we write for ourselves, or do we write for others?

As someone who loves writing, it would be nice to make a living off just by writing. But it’s not the end of the world if I don’t. That moment when we reach our dreams, it’s an exhilarating feeling. But this feeling fades into memories and it’s the journey that makes a person, and this is what truly stays with us. Being popular has never been my end goal. Selling enough books to live comfortably has never been my end goal. What I write and blog about is what I want and what I honestly think – what others think they can think because it’s them and not me. If I connect with one person through my writing, that is my job done as a writer.

Like many forms of art, the hardest part about writing is actually writing and more writing, actually going at it again and again. There are times when we’ll feel stuck or question our craft or wonder why we’re spending so much time on it – and what we want to get out of it if making it big isn’t our intention. Most days I feel stuck and feel lazy, and I tell myself there is tomorrow to write – procrastination alright, but there’s no forcing love and passion.

Keep moving. Keep climbing. Find what matters.

Keep moving. Keep climbing. Find what matters.

If it’s something that we really want to do, we’ll love it enough to let it go. After all, we have to stand up to live before we can sit down and do what we love. Standing up to live, it’s when we learn who we are, find what we believe in and ultimately find our voice.

* * *

In the second half of last year, Yvette Prior over at Prior House Blog very kindly invited me to write a story about perseverance for the collaborative self-help book Lady by the River.

At that time, something about the invitation felt so right. The year had been frustratingly challenging on many fronts and I wasn’t motivated at all writing my first book on being Asian Australian. On a whim and as a distraction, I said yes. For a couple of months, I immersed myself drafting a piece for this project, a piece titled ‘Confidence To Chase My Passion’. For another couple of months, I worked back and forth with Dr Prior fine tuning it, back and forth, and back and forth yet again. Massive credit and thank you to Dr Prior for being so patient with 8 authors who make up this book.

It’s liberating to be an individual out on your own. But it’s grounding and special to be a part of something more than each of ourselves. For the eight of us, we dared to face the dark in the darkness towards the dawn, found the light when we learnt to connect and love each other and ourselves. That’s the basis of our stories: what it means to push on, move forward and touch that glimmer of light in the most testing of times.

It took a while but now we’re all here with a beautiful book.

The book was an idea. It is ours. Now it is the world’s. For each and everyone. For you.

You can get Lady by the River on Amazon: in print or e-book format.

What do you find challenging about (non-fiction) writing and/or blogging?

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256 thoughts on “5 Challenges Of Being A Non-Fiction Writer, Blogger And Published Book Author

  1. Hi Mabel! I may have already commented on your piece; I had it in mind to come back to and re-read when I had some additional time. You posed the question: what do we find challenging about writing fiction/non-fiction, and I wanted to let you know I really agree with your statement: “Non-fiction writing takes time, and even more time if we feel we don’t have enough material to work with.” I really struggle with writing non-fiction that is engaging and seems to tell its own story. One of the things I admire most about your writing is the way you tell your own story, with its authentic voice, and yet you also connect your experience with a more universal human experience. Even though I find it harder to write a non-fiction blog piece, you and other NF bloggers have inspired me to try to incorporate more telling of my own story, or talking about the process of writing, and I’m learning from reading others’ work and trying it on my own. Thank you!

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    • Thank you so much for coming back, Theresa. You are so kind to say what you said. There are countless occasions where I do not like what I’ve written and need to go back and rework what I’ve done. Often I find articulating thoughts into words hard. Maybe other writers have that problem too.

      Congrats on your Cinderella project. So excited for you and already quite a few eager people coming your way. I’m hoping to check out that post soon. Good luck and I am sure it will be a great journey 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you posted on your book and gave us a link! Also, I have to congratulate you again on your latest endeavour. 😀 Yeaaa!

    I’ll have to check it out. I think I’m collecting a bunch of books I want to read on my Kindle right now. Heh, heh. Shopping.

    Love your pics for this post, by the way. Your photos are so perfect with your writing. Enjoy and I’ll see you on the blogosphere! xxoo

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  3. I read through the entire piece, but I think there is one challenge bigger than the ones you mentioned. These days, in the age of the internet, I think non-fiction writers’ biggest challenge is having to deal with competition from bogus writers, those morons who present fiction as non-fiction. In other words, those who appear to be writing meaningful real life relevant things but with sensationalized contents. You never know the facts that you read these days are really facts or something dreamed up by morons… 🙄

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    • That is a good point. You never really know what is true on the internet and out there anymore. But lying and stirring the pot won’t get one anywhere. They might at least have glory in the moment and a has-been the next.

      If you’re an honest writer out there, people will remember what you write, but more so how you made them feel.

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  4. Dear Mabel, may I say first off, I am so happy for your first publication, may congratulations! And secondly, I am truly honoured to have my essay appear in the same book as yours. I was so excited when I found out you and I were going to feature in Yvette’s wonderful ‘Lady’ and I love your essay 🙂 I am going to post about our amazing book next week, and will link to your post also.

    It won’t be a long post (as you know, I’m on blogging go-slow at the moment!) but do want to get the word out there. And thirdly, you know I fully understand your thoughts about non-fiction writing, since that is what I write and always have (apart from flash fiction which I still do but don’t post on my blog at the moment because of time constraints, and actually really enjoy, never thinking I could write any fiction, but I can handle 99 words…we’re not talking a novel here lol!).

    You always get me thinking, but you have a way of working out your questions as you go through your post so that you always come through with a solution, in this case, one that exhorts all of us to keep pushing forward, not to give up and that we need to live before we can write. Since I am a fair bit older than you – just a bit, ha! – I often struggle with the feeling that I’ve left it late to write my book, my first book, but I know that I could not have written it when I was younger.

    The story is the same – as you know it’s a memoir, so nothing’s changed – but it’s the way I’m writing it that has. The way I’ve learned so much about my writing since blogging, four years now, and all I’ve learned not just about writing, but about myself too. We never stop learning, we never stop honing our craft and maturing in the journey. I do write from home and don’t work outside, in paid employment, yet I struggle terribly for distraction free time. I need to get out and find some refreshment outside my four walls or I’ll go nuts! If that means less writing that day so be it.

    As you say, we need that time to get out there and clear away the cobwebs. Lord knows, the Summerhouse has plenty of those, ha! And when it comes to negative responses to your posts through other’s opinions, sadly we live in an age that seems to foster this. I always remember this, something someone told me many years ago: You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. I often think of that when in an uncomfortable situation.

    Keep writing and doing what you do my dear, sweet friend, and you’ll do just fine 🙂 In fact, you already are. Lovely to visit with you today, take good care of yourself, and keep chasing the dream. And I’ll do the same. Gorgeous pics btw…as always! Much love and see you soon! Sherri 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was such a lovely, humbling comment to read, Sherri. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, read and share your thoughts. You are very kind ❤

      I too was very excited when I heard you contributed to Yvette's book, and was so impressed and inspired when you had a draft down when I decided to say yes. Even more impressed and inspired when I heard that you themed your chapter. That is one of the things about writing I struggle with – how to end a non-fiction piece, or really any piece of writing. You do it so well with your chapter and it was a delight to see it in print. True, I like posing questions in my writing and then answering them, but often it is really hard for me to make up my mind (lol, I really am a picky, indecisive person).

      "We never stop learning, we never stop honing our craft and maturing in the journey" You said it so well. I am so looking forward to your post about our book with Yvette and the rest on your blog. Such an achievement for you. Writing can be tedious, and hope you do take care of yourself my dear friend. Take a break when you need some time in the day, and come back refresh and be the writer that you are 🙂

      Negativity won't get us anywhere, be it a negative comment to someone else or saying something negative to ourselves like we are not good enough. You are good enough in your own way, Sherri. You own that Summerhouse and I am always amazed at the engaged audience you have. They will be very happy to hear about your success. Wishing summer coming your way and to your Summerhouse. Here in Australia we are already in autumn but still have one last gasp of summer. Take care and chat soon ❤

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      • Aww…dear, sweet Mabel, what a delight to read your comments, you always make my day! Thank you so much for all the lovely things you say, you greatly encourage me and I am so glad I can do the same for you 🙂 I can’t wait to get our book out there as time goes on, just knowing it will help and encourage so many others who read. I’m truly honoured and to know your thoughts about my chapter and so glad you found it helpful. You write excellently, so I am even more humbled to know this! And so we both write on and continue on side by side, as you enjoy your last gasp of summer and I look ahead to the warming days of spring, even as my narcissus daffodils are in full bloom (will try to get some good pics for my blog, if the sun is kind!). See you soon my sweet friend, and you take good care of yourself too. Big hugs 🙂 ❤

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  5. Mabel – you are an inspiration. I am a non-fiction blogger and I relate to each of your word there. It’s not easy to share a piece of our heart there out in the world. Sometimes, it scares me that my life is such an open book but then that’s also a challenge for a non-fiction writer. Congrats on being published and wishing you more success. Keep up the good work.

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    • Thank you so much, Parul. Very kind of you. It also scares me quite a bit of my life is put out here in my blog and beyond. You do an excellent job of showcasing inspirational talented an skilled women in our society. Thank you so much for that.

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  6. This is a great and insightful post, and I am so grateful you have written it. I have been blogging for a few months now and ultimately would like to become a feature writer for online publications. I’m trying to use blogging as a way to build a portfolio, work on my craft, and meet other people.

    However, after a couple of months of writing and only a small amount of readers, I’m starting to feel a little soul-destroyed. Not only that, but I find I am constantly getting other blog post ideas, but unsure whether to pursue them as they may be inconsistent with my other posts.

    Reading your post has made me want to continue. Continue to write. Continue to build my aptitude. Continue to try and reach out to that one reader who can makes this all worth while.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are very kind, James. Thank you so much. It is so heartening to hear you write because you see it as your craft. Sorry to hear you feel down about it. Maybe you could write out those other post ideas and keep them aside for a time that feels right, or at some time down the track when you feel it’s right to put on your blog.

      I think in anything that we do, it never is easy. Some moments will be better than others. It has been hard to keep up this blog when you know pursuing other opportunities outside of it – and anything you are passionate about – will help you grow. But I will always try. And I hope you will too.

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  7. Hi, Mabel! Love this! OMG! Hello! I just moved my site to a new self-hosted one! Would really love to still connect with you! I’ll be posting everyday and would be posting a giveaway soon! Oh! Which giftcard do you prefer? Hope you can subscribe! XOXO Here is my NEW website http://herlostmango.com

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      • Aw! Thank you so much! So sweet! Amsterdam trip is up with more photos! Hope you can subscribe through email or bloglovin so it’s easier to connect with you! Let me know too if you have a new post! XOXO (Her Lost Mango) herlostmango.com

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        • I look forward to checking out that Amsterdam post! As always, I love the photos you take. Once again, congrats on the new site and good luck with it. It is already looking very good 🙂

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  8. I quite like the way you have described non-fiction writing to be sharing and educating others on the finesses of the world, to enlighten about reality. In order to understand anything better, we must be able to appreciate divergent viewpoints. Though I may not agree with a certain viewpoint, but I do believe that to develop a holistic opinion one must present both sides of a story so that readers are exposed to different perspectives. In my opinion, lambasting a person and calling him/ her a hypocrite for presenting both sides of a story sounds very naive.

    Mabel, it is good to be reminded more than once that it’s the journey that makes a person. To be able to be persistently creative and make sense through your writing over a period of time itself it no less an achievement either.

    Last but not the least, please accept my heartiest congratulations on publishing the book. Putting in a collaborative effort for the first book may have made the journey more engaging and interesting, and given you the needed insight and impetus for going ahead with the book on being Asian Australian. Keep writing, keep inspiring! 🙂 🙂

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    • This is such a thoughtful, level headed and reflective comment, Somali. You said it very well. ” In order to understand anything better, we must be able to appreciate divergent viewpoints.” There is only so much we can learn from one viewpoint. I like how that you are taking the time to travel on your own lately around India and seeing the diversity that is Indian culture, and sharing it all with us. First hand reporting, that is what travel is and what you are doing 🙂 And you do a brilliant job of non-fiction writing and blogging yourself when you do.

      It is interesting to collaborate and publish this way. Never saw it coming but it gives me an idea of what to expect when I do publish my first book on my own 🙂

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  9. First, let me congratulate you on your published article. That’s wonderful and encouraging.

    Second, let me tell you that you are one good non-fiction writer. Your pieces are always well-thought out and well-written. They show not only your dedication to your craft but also courage to put yourself out in the open – vulnerable to not-so diplomatic and downright mean comments. Ignore nasties – that they are here at all show that you are doing a good job encouraging opinions. 🙂

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    • Thank you for supporting for so long, Imelda. I always hope my readers will enjoy what I write and it surprises me because I really am just an ordinary girl. Writing is what I love and I will do it when I feel the love for it. Once again, thank you so much. Your poetry is inspiring 🙂

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  10. Firstly Congratulations upon your book, I have great admiration for those who put a book together.. And for your book to be non fictional the challenge I would think would be an even greater one..

    I agree with you from a blogger’s perspective, We could and often do spend loads of time reading other peoples posts about their lives, loves, and traumas, And I see you are also one who gets involved and gives deeper responses than most..

    I really appreciate your visit Mabel, thank you for you own kind visit, and for leaving me your own valued words..
    Wishing you a wonderful day and new week .. Take care Sue ❤ 🙂

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    • Thank you so much, Sue. I think my first book on my own will prove the biggest challenge. One day… 🙂

      It is just so fun here in the blog world, I think you will agree with me, haha. Each comment I get is a chance to learn, and I really appreciate it when someone stops by my blog 🙂

      Also, you have such a lovely last name there. I love it 🙂

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      • yes this is why it takes me for ever to catch up, I am so interested in posts and read them.. and I am often prone to leave long comments. 🙂 But its wonderful. ( I spend less time in Blog land when my garden gets into full swing.. growing our own veggies in our allotment.. ) Its wonderful connecting with another enthusiastic blogger who interacts and who engages in the subject matter of the posts.. 🙂
        Many thanks again Mabel and its good to speak with you. 🙂

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  11. Thought I’d come by to visit and see who you are. I write mostly creative non-fiction. You have some very good information here and I will peruse further as time permits. Yes, I think most writers are introverts but have to put themselves out there by force of will out of necessity. Reading others blogs and commenting and replying to comments eats hours of a day. We are constantly challenged by that. I look forward to reading more.

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    • It is so kind of you to stop by, Marlene. And Marlene is such a beautiful name. I have not heard that in a long time 🙂

      So true that many writers have to put themselves out there, and it usually never is an easy thing. Sometimes I get stuck replying to comments, wondering what to say to the nice person who has left a comment – that’s the introvert in me coming out.

      You learn so much by blogging, not just about the world, but also about your self too.

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  12. Great piece! I have been thinking lately of writing a book about being my unique situation as a scientist with a chronic illness but I think the hardest thing for me is to get started. I also doubt my credibility, as I haven’t gone very far as a scientist. And find the research that would be necessary pretty daunting.

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    • Scientist with a chronic illness – you don’t hear that too often. That would make a very intriguing story and I would totally buy your book. I hear you. Research can be daunting and there tends to be no end goal in site. Every idea can be critiqued.

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      • 🙂 Thank you for that vote of confidence and support!! The book may not be many years yet, but I will find a way to talk about it on my blog or elsewhere I’m sure so you know when I did it.

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        • It is very interesting what you present on your blog. You already have many achievements professionally and academically. Probably…just a matter of time before you write your book 🙂 I’ve followed your blog and I’m looking forward to following along 🙂

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  13. You’ve put down many points here, much of which is your experience here, via research, and as a published author. I can’t express my views on everything you’ve said, but would strongly agree with you that as a non-fiction writer you have to take into consideration your audience. Still, you can’t please everybody. But if you state the facts in a simple language, you are doing justice to the real-life events.

    I’ve learned a lot from you. Not sure if I will ever write my own book, but can say for sure that the depth of your knowledge speaks about your passion in the area. And that is what should matter the most, money comes later.

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  14. Oh! How I missed this post! First of all, many congratulations to you on your first publication. A great news indeed. Secondly, though I’m not essentially a non-fiction writer/blogger, but I do venture at times to the realm of non-fiction. I can relate to each of your points. We have to think of the readers and their emotions and the way they might react to our words. And, it’s absolutely impossible to please everybody while being true to our own selves. One might agree or disagree with our points, but we have to weave our words according to our will and understanding of the life and the world. Wonderful post, dear Mabel and congratulations to you once again… 🙂

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  15. That is so nice to know the author of the books! To say the truth I didn’t really go deeper into the genres of the stories, I just read and write something I want to, but what I’ve noticed is when you write from the pure heart, people like and read your posts more. yeah, this is a talent which faces challenges to write about daily life, simple things, people we meet every day. You really got the talent and overcome the challenges successfully!

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  16. Hi, Mabel. Congratulations on being invited to write an article for a book and now being a published author.

    For me, writing has always been a passion and I don’t often find it a challenge (well not so far, anyway). As you know, my blog covers an assortment of topics and that’s how I always intended it to be. But, going back to what I said earlier, I think I’d find it a huge challenge to write a non-fiction book. I’ve written many articles which are non-fiction and which appear on my blog, and many say that these types of posts always gain the most views. I couldn’t agree more with that, as my blog stats show, yet my heart still remains with writing fiction. As soon as we open ourselves up to the world and publish anything online, we are putting ourselves on display and will always get comments that can be hurtful from people who don’t agree with what we have to say. However, never allow that to stop you from writing. I’ve had my fair share of unwanted comments, but my passion for writing is far stronger and greater than those hurtful comments could ever be.

    You’re doing a great job and always ask us such wonderful questions.

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    • Thank you so much for the kind words and well-wishes, Hugh. I have always admired your rise as a blogger and how you juggle your variety of topics. Your posts on blogging are not only informative, but certainly very popular.

      But it is amazing to see you sharing fiction here in the blog world, to writing Glimpses. A book author all on your own and you did it so well 🙂 Hurtful comments are just another’s opinion, and good to let you know it didn’t stop you writing more and more 🙂

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  17. First of all, congratulations..you deserve all the praise for this. Your articles clearly displays the hardwork you put in , and it is amazing. You are a true inspiration.
    All the best for future, do tell me about future works. Keep writing and motivating.
    Shreyans

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    • Thanks, Shreyans. You are very kind. I will certainly keep posted on my writing and works here on the blog. Don’t know what the future holds. You just never know anymore. Good luck with what you do.

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  18. Pingback: Spring Forward | A View From My Summerhouse

  19. How wonderful that Yvette recognized your writing brilliance! And you would have picked up some useful skills for our collaborative project. (The slow-burning one)! I am very excited to go look at this book. Yvette and I spoke one almost in real time, which is so rare for bloggers, our comments are more disjointed by the passage of time and different time zones! I feel sure this project is the start of many wonderful things to come. Some readers prefer or read only non-fiction, and thus I feel the market is still strong and appealing to those of us that don’t always like fantasy stories!

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    • Collaborating with Yvette and the rest was such a wonderful experience. It taught me how to structure my writing much more succinctly and gave me a glimpse into the publication and copyright side of it, which is complex in its own right. With time, our book will come along together. Always worth the work and wait with art. Very nice to hear you have connected with Y. She is a wonderful force to be reckoned with.

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  20. Hi, Mabel. It’s been a while since I’ve “set foot” on this page. Vacation and a pile of work upon returning explain why. Nevertheless, my desire to learn from your work is always there.

    I’ve never seen someone like you in the blogosphere. It’s only you who do this endeavor. You don’t just respond to us for pep talk or anything to that effect. You always make it a point to understand us, deeply. This reflects to how you put up a piece of writing here. (Thanks a lot for the tips on how you do it.)

    I’m a travel blogger yet I can relate to your voice. You motivate me to see the beautiful that is difference. I quote you on that. Long before I came across your blog and interacted with you the way I do now, I wasn’t convinced that I should write for myself–first–and the audience should come secondary. Sticking around with you since then reinforced my confidence that I should write for myself first. It was when I started reading your blog posts that I learned to embrace my voice; I found meaning to what I do; and I realized that passion starts with embracing myself through expressing what I love to do.

    I’m forever grateful to you for that great lesson.

    Yes, you motivate me, Mabel. And, yes, I can connect to the challenges that you talked about on this blog post. I may have not published a book but the circumstances that play in our lives as non-fiction writer or blogger with regard to the challenges are similar.

    I’ve also experienced being questioned about the information I share to my travel posts–occasionally–here on WordPress. Thank God they do it discreetly. The case is different in other blog site hosts though. I got into a heated discussion, more of a verbal tussle, with a commenter in one of the grammar blog posts I published on Definitely Filipino Blog. In as much as I wanted to keep my cool, I also lost control, human as I am…that was the first and last.

    Be that as it may, the nugget of wisdom I got from the encounter made it all worth it. I became extra careful of the things I write since then.

    Sometimes, readers fail to realize that most bloggers or writers don’t work full time on their sites but to their jobs during weekdays. Readers have no idea of how much time and effort a part-time blogger or writer puts into creating one blog post so that when he/she gets insults or unprofessional comments on it, the response would be reprisal. I still struggle at being assertive when it comes to dealing with trolls.

    Putting our personal opinion out there is indeed daunting or a gamble of convincing readers with our arguments.

    As to making a name for myself in the travel blogging world, I’ve given up on it. The odds are just not in my favor. One thing is for sure at the end of the day: no matter how constant those challenges are, I will keep on writing about what I love to do, which is traveling, even if I will not achieve something (remarkably) big out of it. There’s no other motivation for this passion but the desire to write about it.

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    • This comment left me stunned and speechless for words, Sony. So relevant to the topic and every point made such a convincing statement. The tips presented in this post are just based on personal experiences, and if you found it useful, I am very happy for you and hope you got something out of them.

      I have longed admired your blog and when I first came to the blog world, your blog was one of the first I started following. I remember thinking, ‘I want to put posts together as polished as Sony’s. So much originality’. Yes, you may not have published a book but you have made wonderful connections across the travel blog and Filipino community, the latter of which you engage in so well. Also, you have been places and sponsored (I think) because of your blogging. It is very impressive and your perseverance at it over the years is certainly rewarding to you.

      Sorry to hear you got into a verbal tussle on other blogs. It does not sound pleasant. You had your opinion, and they had theirs. Hopefully it all ended with the two of you respecting each other as individuals, though you may not ever be friends. Being on the polite and neutral side with our words in the blog word is always a safe bet, and always better safe than sorry. After all, first impressions and connections no matter how brief can go a long way. Agree that trolls can be daunting – not because we want to put them in their place, but because we don’t want to incite negativity and maybe even hurt even further.

      Each post you put out, they are so well done. Words wordsmithed so well. Photos sharp with that Sonyboy-esque flair. You should be very proud.

      Thank you so much for the kind words. It was so hard responding to such a humbling comment from a blogger I have always looked up to, and will continue to look up to.

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  21. Congrats on being featured in this book, Mabel. May you go from strength to strength with your non-fiction writing success. Some of the biggest challenges in non-fiction writing include doing thorough and necessary research to ensure you have your facts straight (a time-consuming exercise), crafting the piece in a creative way that makes it interesting to read, the ethics of writing about others, and finding your authentic voice. But ultimately it’s a rewarding craft, although not necessarily financially, so being paid for it is one of the biggest challenges.

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    • Thank you so much, BB. You touched on such an interesting point there I left out the ethics about writing for others. A lot of the time, non-fiction writing involves writing about other poeple. Sometimes you have to pause and thing what these other people might think if they found out you wrote about them. So long as it’s not defamatory words about them, I don’t think they’ll sue 😀

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  22. I don’t think I will be able to becoming a non-fiction author – gosh, lots of imagination involved etc…Congrats, Mabel, for publishing the book. I will take a look soon at my Kindle! Best wishes..

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  23. I don’t know how I missed this piece. I knew you were a published author, but I learned that from Instagram rather than here. First of all, I love the images, each and every one of them. Thought provoking and emotion evoking. I wish I’d taken them. Second, I agree with you that it is challenging to put our personal opinion out there. People are so divided out there these days and are more comfortable hurling insults (the easy path) rather than listening and trying to understand (this takes work and self reflection). I am really trying to do the later these days and I applaud you for not editing yourself to make some people comfortable. If it is your truth, so be it. Love you. Hug to Mr Wobbles

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    • You take better photos of me, and I am very much happy to pose for you for model shots 😀 You make a good point that it’s easier to criticise than to listen. There is much value in learning but it does take time and also guidance. I applaud you for sailing and visiting each continent with an open mind, and it is so nice to see you achieving your dreams. Mr Wobbles sends you a hug right back.

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