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. Writing takes the time to get the experience and then share it effectively. It is a lot of work but enjoyable and worth it. I started my blog less than a year ago and am not a writer by profession so only learning as I go.
    Congrats on your success. Do you recommend any source of training or learning for amateurs learning to refine their work and understanding of different forms of publishing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words. Hope you find fun in blogging – because so long as it is fun, we would want to do it and that our honesty will shine through. Maybe you can let others have a read of your work. While they might not agree with you, you can learn to see your work from another angle much more quickly and refine it if need be.

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  2. Congratulations Mabel!!!:) To answer your question about the challenges I face with blogging is coming up to content or what should I write. Don’t have to much trouble with my photography blog, but with my other blog am always stuck on what should I write. What would be interesting? I want to write, but my mind is blank. I will admit, am not great when it comes to writing, but it one reason why I started blogging.

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  3. This is a fantastic post and you know I am your biggest fan! I loved your story in Lady by the River and find you so inspiring. Your dedication, commitment and passion to writing is amazing and I’m so lucky to call you my friend, I understand needing breaks. Sometimes it all gets too much and it’s better to press pause than to write content you know isn’t coming from the excited heart. Keep going my friend, you never know where your dreams and hard work will take you! Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for suppoting and for getting the book, Bec! Pressing pause – love how you say it. Sometimes when we do that, we learn a bit more around us and come back all excited again. I am the lucky one to have you as a friend. Looking forward to catching up soon x

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  4. Congrats Mabel as your words are seeing the light of print and finding their way to receptive minds. Every form of writing presents its own challenges. The form appeals to the reader only if the content is interesting, so content is the king no matter what form it is in. If the lady is by the river today, may her oeuvre transform into a flowing river of endlessly fascinating perspectives in time to come. Best….🤗

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    • Thank you so much, Raj. “Every form of writing presents its own challenges.” You said it so well. Anything that we do has its own set of challenges. Writing is no exception, even if we are good at it and like it. I am sure the lady by the river would be proud of this book 🙂

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  5. Wonderfully introspective piece. And congrats on being included in that book, I’m sure you’re looking forward to opening a hard copy publication with your name on it.

    You have your own reddit thread for Mabel haters? I think that should be a point of pride. It just means your getting work out into the world and reaching a wide audience. There will always be haters. Just carry on and ignore them. Don’t let ’em get you down. Really, what kind of person reads a blog, compares and contrasts particular points of view in semi-related articles AND takes the time to go trash someone on reddit (as if a writer can’t have contrasting opinions about topics, change their opinions with age/experience or have such a nuanced view on a topic as to look different when view). Just imagine how much more those haters could accomplish in life if they put that energy into something positive and productive.

    Sounds to me like the writing “career” is progressing nicely. All you need to do now is develop an unhealthy drug or alcohol problem and you could be a New York Times bestseller someday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have a hard copy of the book. To be honest, when I opened it I didn’t feel overly excited. More like, this is how it should be…it just felt very right.

      True. Our thoughts change with our experiences, and ideas are never meant to be static but developed and evolving. You brought up such a great point there. For a while I was receiving hate email every other day, accusing me of this and that without any evidence. In a way, it is hilarious how people can just assume.

      I think I do need some kind of addiction that will motivate me to take this “career” further. Wonder if chocolates will cut it 😀

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  6. Hi Mabel, I love that you did this writing project. I haven’t read the book yet, but I just put it in my cart at Amazon.
    Can I make a suggestion on this post? The link to the book does not open in a separate tab, it just directs you away from this page, and then your reader has to click to come back. When you are adding a link, you can check a box that says “open in a new tab”. I think this makes it easier for the reader to look at your link and make their way back to your post.
    Also, I really like the photography you have included, particularly the first shot.
    What’s challenging about blogging? Staying true to my vision of the blog and not getting caught up in “likes”
    Cheers!
    Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Amy. You don’t have to get the book, and it is very kind of you to want to. It will probably be my last published book for a while.

      Also, thank you for the feedback too. I didn’t know you can individually edit each link to open them up in a separate window (normally I don’t do this). I have done that now for the book links at the end of the post.

      I love the first shot. Timed that with a camera on the tripod, and then it was post-processed 😀 In the third shot, originally there were black powerlines running across sky. Took me a while to get them out of the way 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, my shopping cart hit the free shipping point when I added your book, so I went ahead and placed the order. I often have a shopping cart started there, mostly of books I know I won’t be able to borrow from other places.
        I’m glad you found my tip of use 🙂
        Good job on removing the power lines! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lol, free shipping when you added the book. Hope it arrives soon and let me know if it does 🙂 I used a bit of the healing brush with this one, along with the blur tools in Photoshop Elements. It took a while and had to be careful everything I wanted to remove was removed…I hope so 😀 I will keep you tip in mind: use a smaller brush. I’ve always thought the bigger the better. Then again you have to be careful of the object’s surroundings.

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  7. Congratulations again Mabel on the book. This is a great post. I enjoyed the insight you shared about nonfiction writing.
    I’m not much of a fiction reader so I’ve never really considered fiction writing.
    I think the writing I do for work, viz., public service writing is also a very special category of writing. It’s not fiction and it can’t be overly technical but it must be accurate, precise yet comprehensible by anyone with at least a high school education.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Gaz. One day I am sure you will have a book out 😀

      Finally. Someone else who is more of a non-fiction reader and writer. There’s a kind of skill you need for each kind of writing, and public service writing sounds like it falls in between academic and informal non-fiction writing. I’m sure you got it down pat 😀

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  8. Congrats, dear Mabel! You’ve got some fine points here and no, we cannot make up reality. But we Can observe, which you excel at. And in that observation mode, you are always asking questions. I think it’s that inquisitive, open mind; what Buddhists term ‘beginners mind’ that makes you such a brilliantly interesting blogger and, one would expect, nonfiction writer! I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing how your writing develops. Blessings and Aloha ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Bela. I think I need to observe more carefully since I am known to be scatterbrained quite often – not seeing that things are right in front of me too.

      I like to ask a lot of questions too, and that can annoy others around me, haha. That may be good for thought-provoking writing, but it may not be when it comes to making connections, lol. Aloha right back at you. Love your Hawaii vibes in your comments and blog ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • You are very good with photography, Alex. Always so sharp with both street photography and portraits, especially of your boys. Challenges will be challenges, and you will fight through them 🙂

      It is almost Friday. Almost the weekend. I have been on the road…not sure if i want to go home, lol 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • you are so awesome, Mabel, and always so positive, love that so much… this comes through in your writing and is very precious ♥ keep facing challenges with a smile… so infections for the rest of us :))
        aww, it must have been a nice trip then, I hope? 🙂 xoxo

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        • Again, you are very kind, Alex. For a long time I wasn’t very happy… Now that I know where it truly comes from, I want to make others happy too, even if it is through a smile 🙂

          The trip was great. Not much photography but really just taking it all in 🙂 x

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  9. Mabel, you have written this so wonderfully. It’s true…writing something takes a whole lot of time. reading and commenting is quite engrossing too. Then, you need to be right frame of mind to write. There are so many permutation and combinations that only a writer or blogger can understand. Wishing you lots of luck, Mabel! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Arv.Very kind of you. Engrossing. Yes. Love that word and it is so apt. Reading other blogs take me to another world, and I comment to engage more with that world and of course, the person behind it. Maybe you will write a travel book on Jaipur one day 🙂

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      • I think very few people actually love conversations. Who knows better than you! If the feeling is reciprocated,it’s fun all the way. Travel book… ? I don’t know Mabel. The world has gone digital, so I’m not sure if its still relevant. I would love to help people though. Thanks for being so kind 🙂

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        • Fun is and should always be the most important thing. You never know, Arv. Maybe one day you will decide to do a travel book. You already have such a successful travel blog with a lot of loyal followers. And your photography is very good too 🙂

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  10. In our pluralistic society, I think it’s important to note that there is such a thing as truth and falsehood, though I admire your patience and ability to take on two (or more) sides of a discussion. I’m sure there’s many times you’ve probably deeply disagreed with me yet politely continued the conversation. It’s a rarity (I find) in an on-line forum to see this kind of maturity and respect, where discussions don’t degenerate into arguments and name-calling that would make a five-year-old look wise and patient.

    And the fact that your blog is ‘atypical’ (though I don’t visit others often enough to know what would be called ‘typical’!) is probably what drew me here in the first place. Being unique means that you bring a value to the world that no-one else has, at least not yet.

    It’s all right to take breaks. I don’t think you need to call those breaks procrastination. Some might write more frequently, others less often. In giving yourself a break, you might give those who follow you a break too… but don’t stop writing altogether or I’ll be worried something is wrong! 😉

    What do I find challenging about non-fiction writing? I don’t do much of it, but when I do, it’s usually the issue that people would say my non-fiction is fiction… :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • It took me a long time to accept that two contrasting arguments may never come to together and find some common ground. At some points there have been persistent opinionated opinions that were expressed overtly colloquially, and moderating comments kept me busy for a while.

      I’ve never deeply disagreed with you. With the thoughts you share, I’ve always found them intriguing – though I may not believe in some of them, they open my eyes to another world.

      Truth be told, I have not been working on my first book for almost a year. Really have no motivation for it. But as mentioned in my post, last year was challenging.

      I am sorry to hear that people think your non-fiction is fiction.. how can they get it so wrong :/ I am sure it is them, and not you 🙂 Thank you for your support, Simon.

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      • It can still be constructive to engage in discussions where participants have polar opposite views. These views may even change with time. I wonder what you mean about the moderation remarks… but I suppose here you’re engaging with readers more or less individually as opposed to a forum where multiple people interact and often moderators need to step in. Still, from what I see of other people’s remarks you seem to have attracted a largely friendly and mature following. (:

        Thank you for your patience but more importantly your consideration. Of the times I’ve shared on-line of my real self (not that I hide behind a mask, but I generally avoid sharing real-life things for privacy reasons), I’m usually met with either apathy – because people don’t want to engage in a meaningful way – or outright hostility, because people have preconceived notions or misconceptions/misunderstandings about what a Christian represents. I didn’t become what I am today because of ‘blind faith’, I hold to my convictions because of the evidence I’ve seen and experienced. (:

        I was thinking more about your regular posts, but I was wondering about the book you mentioned previously as well. The proof-reading offer still stands, but only if you’re comfortable with the idea. I hope this year gets better for you – looks like it’s becoming quite tough for me too. And it’s only February!

        As I alluded to before, we live in a pluralistic, post-modern society. ‘If it’s true for you, that’s nice, but it’s not true for me.’ Of course, we have problems when people who have opposing ‘truths’ come together. And I’m not even thinking about those recently infamous ‘alternative facts’!

        If I, like so many here seem to as well, support you, it’s because you seem to be a fun and engaging personality who converses with her readers in a caring and considered way. So thank you too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • A while back, there were comments that attacked other comments and me. The comments section descended into battleground territory and it is not something that is helpful to any of us when it comes to understanding each other. Some commenters were persistent…so moderating those comments took time.

          Totally okay if you don’t want to share certain aspects of your life online, Simon. Some parts of my life I won’t share, so I understand where you’re coming from. And a bit of mystery always makes things a bit more fun, more questions asked, and so the more we engage with each other.

          Of course. I would love it if you could proof-read my book as and when the time comes 🙂 This year so far has been good to me, but a lot on my plate. Hopefully things will turn out well for you. I’m sure they will given the articulate way you seem to pose your thoughts 🙂

          It’s one thing to be engaging with words and sans face to face, and another building a true connection. And another thing altogether conversing in the real world.

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          • Sounds like it was quite early on in your history here. It’s sad that you had to deal with that, but I suppose it’s settled out now with a mature and friendly following that you have. Thinking positively about that reddit thread you mentioned (I didn’t read it), at least you’re making a big enough of an impact for people to notice and remark about you. Even if it’s not positive, it still means you’re getting attention.

            I wasn’t speaking about revealing stuff here specifically – now that I think about it I’ve probably been more open here than I should – but general on-line experience hasn’t been favourable to people like me, often labelled bigots, hypocrites, irrational, idiotic, closed-minded, and all manner of insults from people who profess to be ‘open-minded’ and ‘tolerant’. But not to say I’ve had that here! On the contrary, that’s what I’m trying to commend you on, that here we have a useful and constructive forum for people to engage in.

            Sounds good, even if it’s only a chapter here, a chapter there. Glad that you’re feeling better this year. Alas, eloquence, patient wording, and a spirit of co-operation doesn’t help in my case. For me, it’s an unfortunate regression in workplace culture I’m having to deal with this past several weeks that has me worn down and burned out. I’m sorry to say that the team concerned is Melbourne-based, but it’s not a reflection on your fellow townsfolk – I’ve run into problems with this team before, just not for a long while which had me hoping that things had improved. Clearly not.

            Well, yes, face-to-face communications is best where possible. Where it’s not, the ‘net has done much to draw people together. I’m not talking about the shallow ‘facebook-friend’ relationships either. Some people have built deep connections on-line and that’s a good thing. Well, I hope those that have the pleasure of conversing with you in the real world give you just as much pleasure too.

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            • “it still means you’re getting attention.” This is true. I am very thankful for who my blog can reach and it makes others think. Though I must say, there is more to life than just doing one thing and a lot of the time I wonder if I choose to do something else, will that make me happier…

              I am sorry to hear things are a bit of damper work wise for you. Hopefully things will sort themselves out. Challenges are a part of life, and sometimes we just have to roll with the punches and try to make the most of it.

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              • Oh, I hope this isn’t the only thing taking up your time! If you do find yourself taking up other pursuits, I would completely support you in that. I suppose it’s important to remember that our validation doesn’t come from what others think of us (or even ourselves), though in this social-media generation it seems that’s what a lot of people are doing and so they’re inevitably disappointed when fickle followers turn hostile or fall away.

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                • As sad as this sounds, this blog, responding to comments, blog walking and writing my blog posts take up a big chunk of my time. True. Self-worth comes from within when we believe in ourselves, not what others say about us.

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  11. Congratulations Mabel! The book has gone on my cart 🙂 and I am looking forward to reading all the stories. Only time is seriously in short supply now that I am back to my full time job. Blogging has become a passion and am quite addicted to it. And I especially enjoy interacting with fellow bloggers from around the world 😉 To get my daily fix I have to wake up an hour (or two) early but it’s completely worth it 🙂 I enjoy reading your non-fiction pieces and look forward to not only the post but the myriad interesting reactions it evokes – a compliment to your writing skills. Write on!

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  12. At the outset Mabel my hearty congratulations on getting your creative stories onto the publication in the print form. Each form of publication has its own charm and this print form always been a joy to see our name on the book and feel it in our hand…

    Yes, this non-fiction form of writing is in fact more challenging than the fiction form of writing, we can play randomly and we can do things wildly on a fictional platform but when it comes to non-fiction it is the fact and the reality that matters and we have to careful in capturing those aspects, we need to do search and research to get what others are thinking and what others have written, as we are presenting a different perspective and there are so many perspectives already there in the out. To make the reader interested and excited, we have to develop the art of telling a story and story telling is not easy, as there is a structure and frame we need to adhere to in non-fiction writing.

    It reflects in all your posts and the quantum of efforts you put and quality of thoughts that you bring in your analysis, the arguments you present and the facts you include adds up to building a strong post and perspective that matters to readers. Yes, it takes good amount of time to get one post ready to be published and there is so much of drafting and redrafting that goes in making a post stand out and the post making a difference in the minds of the reader.

    Mabel, never easy to choose the topic on multiculturalism, racism and stereotypes and keep generating such wonderful thoughts in every post that you publish and the kind of analysis and perspective makes it perennially thought provoking…

    Thanks so much for sharing such a lovely post and once again congrats for the publication of your story.
    😀

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    • “Each form of publication has its own charm” This is so true. While I am disappointed I have stopped working on my first book, this book is special in that it encouraged each of us writers to write from the heart.

      “we can do things wildly on a fictional platform…search and reserarch” Again, so apt, Nihar. Non-fiction has to be truthful and in a way has more boundaries. I feel to be a strong non-fiction writer, we have to somehow push these boundaries and still sound convincing, and its something that I am still learning.

      Putting together each piece of non-fiction writing, it can feel like it’s dragging on. But that is how we learn and improve and as you alluded to, engage the reader. It takes time for things to grow and touch others, like a blossoming flower or crush, and writing a story is no exception.

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, my friend. I love how you weave in-depth thoughts so seamlessly together in your blog posts – which all sing so nicely like a nice orchestra. Keep doing that.

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      • We have all the space and freedom of imagination to play our cards on the fictional canvas but when it comes to the non-fictional arena, it is never easy to keep exercising our creativity with so much facts and stats surrounding us and we have to ensure that we keep those rules in mind, we have limited scope to turn and twist on the aspects of reality, as there is one reality and we have to abide by the truth…

        Writing story is never easy and it takes time and good amount of efforts to build and make the story make its presence felt and there has to be emotions and there has to be passion that has to go inside the stories and then the stories will speak for themselves and when we speak from our heart, it makes its mark in the reader’s mind.

        This story of yours as a part of collaborative writing is an excellent idea and as regard your first book, it will come out brilliantly, this break is only to refurbish your mind with new ideas and thoughts that will make the book magical…patience is the biggest virtue in writing and publishing book.
        Thanks as always Mabel for your lovely words and the way you share your views, it is inspiring and it comes from your heart.
        take care!!!
        😀

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        • “facts and stats ” You always rhyme your words so well, Nihar. I am sure you will be quite fine at poetry too like you are with non-fiction… 😀

          Sometimes the hardest part of non-fiction writing and writing in general is writing from the heart – because that’s where it gets personal. No one wants to be attacked personally, because when that happens others who are reading you can turn away from you.

          This book is a special one. As you said, it is collaborative. It has given me encouragement to continue working on my first book I started almost two years ago now. Hopefully that will get going soon… You take care, my friend. Keep writing.

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          • There is a time for everything and there are things which happen as per the wishes of nature and many times we feel restless and we contest that change or postponement of things as against our wish or we want it on our terms and therein lies the disconnect and we fight and we miss the chance of accepting the way it is given to us because there is something hidden in such gifts, and it is for us to have the patience and the perseverance to realize the hidden joy that unravels with time and when we accept and acknowledge the gift of the nature the way it is given to us…

            Though I like to dabble on the fictional aspect of writing but the non-fiction aspects keep him anchored…in both the case what matters is how much we have put our heart into the matter that matters.
            😀

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  13. For me the hardest part about my non-fictional blogging is to retell everything in an interesting way. Often I get stucked in the middle of writing thinking “This sounds so boring”. THis is why some blog posts can take several days till I am finished even though they are always less than 1000 words

    Compared to when I wrote from Nathan’s perspective about his journey around Finland I had zero problems and the first draft was done in less than ten minutes and completed (without pictures) in half hour.
    Interesting about the reddit stuff, had also in January somethign there about my blog/ one of my articles. Really crazy there sometimes

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your posts always make me laugh, Timo. From MIL to Nathan to horror travel stories, there is always something relatable about them 🙂 Haha, with the Nathan perspective, you are probably bringing out the inner child in you… Or maybe you just have a natural talent for being funny and humorous, or a comedian.

      The Reddit stuff happened to me a few times, and on some other forums too that I now can’t remember. Very interesting but as you said, also very crazy. Unbelievable.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow! You finished your book Mabel! That is awesome news and many congratulations for the publication of your book. I am so happy for you…all dreams are achievable, all aspirations authentic! You have proved it dear friend.
    I absolutely agree with you…writing non-fiction is more challenging than all other genres. While poetry seems easiest to me and fiction can absorb the weirdest ideas, non-fiction needs immense patience and resilience as it is based on our experiences with the world, our observations and interactions with people. It all depends on our perceptions…how others react to them is their own outlook.
    While I appreciate your profound understanding of the constraints of being a non-fiction writer, I would like to point out that critical analysis of our observations is the most rewarding part of our writing and I always look forward to the inputs that add something more to what I believe in. Difference of opinion and the willingness to express it needs grit and those who share their honest opinion are always revered.
    I wish you all the success with your book dear friend. Stay blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Balroop. Publishing a chapter in a book is such an honour for me. It has given me the motivation to complete my first book which I started almost two years ago. For now, this is such an achievement.

      Good to hear you feel a connection with poetry and it works for your creative outlet. True that others can react in almost any way imaginable to non-fiction, and really to our own work and art in general.

      You are so right in saying critical analysis is beneficial to us. They do add more and in some instances can help us see our goals more clearly or open our eyes to another perspective that is equally as valid – and humbles us. Take care my friend, and thank you for always supporting.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow that reddit is intense. Sometimes I cannot stand the opinions on a lot of those threads, many of those sorts of people seem to have a habit of being way too opinionated and harsh which even gets in the way of good points. Still, I hope some exposure and debate about your writing is good even if traversed through the dangerous waters of the Internet…

    Keep on writing about what matters to you, be true to yourself as an introvert and your identity, and congratulations again on being published.

    And also, I for one appreciate all the time you spend on blogs and being part of the WordPress community 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • A lot of people told me Reddit is a great source for different opinions on different subjects. Then as I started to explore it and saw my blogs coming up in the discussions, I am very much inclined to agree with you.

      “be true to yourself as an introvert ” I will 😀 Congrats on being published many times over yourself, and I am sure many more publications to come for you too. As I am typing this, my face is a sleepy face, lol 😀

      Like

  16. Congratulations, Mabel! Holding a full-time job, blogging, and then contributing to a book on top of all that must have been a daunting task. It’s wonderful when a personal passion and a productive activity can be accomplished simultaneously, as you have done with a number of your pursuits!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Mabel the beautiful book arrived and I have been waiting to savour it when I am not feeling rushed. I have a terrible habit of scanning sometimes and I want to ensure I take in every word. Bravo to you for persevering in this and your passion for writing. I am inspired by your dedication and your accomplishments!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for getting the book, Sue. No rush to read it, not at all. Already so touched that you got it 🙂 I am inspired by your dedication and accomplishments of traveling around the world and exploring your own backyard.

      Like

  18. Congrats Mabel!!! I’m truly glad on your success. Let me check if they ship to my place, but I’m old fashioned, hence always printed copy for me.

    Anyways I’m delighted to know about this, every writers dream.

    Like

  19. Yvette is a force of nature and I don’t know where she finds the time or energy, Mabel, but she will be a superb coordinator, and never lacking for ideas. I kind of echo what Sue says because in our blog world it has become all too easy to skim read. Congratulations on your part in this and I hope to get to read it soon. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yvette would be so proud of this. I will show her this comment, Jo. You are very kind. I like to at least skim read and ‘Like’ a post when I am pressed for time. If not, I will read it all the way through and leave a comment 🙂 Let me know if you get the book 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  20. There’s always the issue of balance… whenever we’re either working or studying and blogging concurrently. I don’t see myself giving up blogging for a full-time career in law. In fact, writing keeps me sane from the analytical concepts hurled in my direction. But yes, I agree with your university lecturer, Mabel; it’s the arguments placed forth that persuades or dissuades someone from believing in something. =) I’ve agreed and disagreed with articles that I’ve read before – mostly because the person couldn’t express the arguments well or because s/he had the wrong details.

    Congrats on the book, though! I haven’t had the chance to read it yet – the library hasn’t received a copy and I don’t think the ones in my uni will actually have it in hard copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hope you get to have a balance between doing writing and law. It is always good to have things on each side so we can go away from each when need be.

      Sometimes I even disagree with myself and my own thoughts, lol. That is what makes writing frustrating for me. It would be a dream to have one of my books in a library someday.

      Like

      • I’m keeping my fingers crossed on the balance. As it is, I’m being slapped with the workload from two intensive courses that seem to entertain me inasmuch as annoy me with its content. Because of that, I’m having second thoughts about throwing the blog on a back burner until I’m done with exams in July.

        Well, I’ll let you know when I’ve stumbled across it in the library?

        Like

          • First of all, please allow me to apologise for an unexpected error on my part, Mabel. I accidentally deleted your comment on my blog post. =O I’m sorry about it!!! =(

            I agree with you when you said that no one likes to lose someone (whether it be through literal death or death of a relationship/friendship). It reminded me of a former friend whom I’ve not spoken to in years – we sort of drifted apart amidst the chaotic and dramatic life of college. I have no idea why it happened, but I don’t think I want to know either. Maybe that sense of not knowing has led to the dream hinting at him instead.

            Thank you for the well-wishes, Mabel. =) I’m hoping that things will turn out for the best as I bite the tree bark with persistence.

            Like

            • Oh no, haha! Hope it wasn’t too bad a day for you. It’s okay 🙂 That is an interesting thought – to not know why we drift apart. Moving on in our lives in different directions could be a reason why, and then you wonder why you don’t make the effort to keep in contact. Maybe too busy, too tired or we simply have different need snow.

              You’ve come this far. I am sure there will be good times ahead for you too. Maybe we will meet each other at some point, you will never know. That will be a highlight 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • Well, it was an exhausting day, juggling between the three assignments (incl a short presentation) and readings. It was lately after he did something that kinda hammered the final nail in the coffin of our friendship.

                Two more years, and I’ll be a free bird. =) Well, who knows? Maybe we’ll cross paths somewhere sometime. 😉

                Like

  21. that’s awesome Mabel! props!! publishing any type of work is HARD work!!! i had a chapter published in a history book back when i was in college and i spent countless hours at the library doing research and conducting interviews- it was so tedious and exhausting, and not even talking about the writing part! so i know from first hand experience what a daunting task that is. props, girl, props! =D and where could we find your work if we were interested in reading it?

    Like

    • Thanks, Soapie. It sounds like a very thorough history chapter you worked on there. Definitely. The part before the writing part is already frustrating and confusing, and it could put you off the writing part, lol. I put a link to the collaborative book at the end of the blog post, and also on my portfolio page. Thank you so much for supporting.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Mabel, your photography is amazing. And I agree with you that writing does take time as does my photography. My life has been so challenging it has been really tough blogging as I used to so I have not. It was so much fun commenting and reading on blogs I follow but life has a way of getting busy. I really congratulate you on your achievement on contributing to that book. I’m very proud of you, Mabel. I understand the work involved. You sound a bit tired … don’t forget to take care of you. (((HUGS))) ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do get that feeling too, such as, why do I write this? Will anyone read it? On these occasions, sometimes I tell myself to just do it for myself, to connect and most importantly feel the person inside of me.

      Like

  23. My sincere and heartfelt congrats, Mabel! This is what you aimed for, and finally reached. Well done and well deserved! I guess once you have achieved this…the road will be open – straight on to next project – or to finish your first started book. I hope you can stop for a while to savour your book, to hold it in your hand and press it to your cheeks. At least I would have done so!
    The hardest thing…the most challenging thing…I think is to be satisfied with my work. I never am. It could always have been…a little bit better. And I so much would have liked going back to my poetry writing. I did when I was young. Next week I will start painting again – 35 years ago last time…
    Big hug and good luck with everything!♥

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your endless support, Leya. It is always appreciated. It is funny how I always aimed to be a published book author, but never have imagined being a part of a collaborative book or first published book-work this way.

      I do hope to get a move on with my first started book. I do feel the desire to do it, but as Amy pointed out, I’m tired. That is true.

      Good luck with painting. I hope you will find it refreshing and exciting, just like how you do with your photography – which is always so on point. You take so many more shots than me, and each of them that you share on IG is stunning ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Congrats., Mabel. 🙂
    Unlike you, I don’t invest as much time as you in writing. I consider my personal blog as telling my own stories that I might consider “different” but not necessarily arresting to others. Or maybe I just don’t know. I enjoy combining storytelling with my personal photos and art. I am propelled to tell good stories with decent photos because it’s to share the best thoughts and experiences I’ve had with: a) family and friends who know me well. It’s my personal digital legacy to them b) other like-minded readers who want to learn something.

    I always find each blogger’s process of crafting a blog post, interesting. For me, usually it takes a few hours 2-3 to cobble the lst draft. Then over 1-5 days, I add/adjust it. So it might be half hr. or hr. here and there. During this time, I plough through my photo collection to select and adjust the photos. Sometimes, it’s the reverse –personal visual memories and photos propel me to write 1/2 of the post first. Then I zone in on some favourite photos and later finish the rest of the blog post. So the creative inspiration causes me to flip between different creative expressions (writing vs. visual) for 1 post, and I just go with the flow.

    I don’t worry about loneliness of an “artist”. I’ve always been a bit of loner, yet friendly and social to connive with others on shared interests.

    Like

    • You do a good job of narrating and reflecting your experiences and places you’ve been to, Jean. Your photos are also very well composed, and go along with your words very well. Choosing the photos can be just as hard or harder than writing the words.

      Interesting to hear of your blog process, and your inspiration for your posts. Sounds like you always got something to work with – which is great because it propels you forward with what you are doing as an artist. Which you are, even though you don’t spend as much time on writing as me. Your blog is already a work of art.

      Like

  25. Interestingly, you touch on a point I was grinding on earlier. Making my voice heard, I’ve been grinding at blogging/broadcasting for some time now and it’s hard, I endure endless scrutiny and little to no success. I garner an audience, one who is patient and kind, but too I yearn for a time where it is what I do, that I can live off what I make doing one or the other and I know that maybe that will never happen. “Is it worth it to keep going? ” I ask myself. The answer is I don’t know, all I can do is keep going. Lol, thanks for the great post, congrats on being published and I’ll be back.

    Like

    • It is always challenging to be noticed in blogging, broadcasting and the media since a lot of “success” in that arena is based on taste and preferences, be it commercial or niche. So true. Whether it will work out, we have to keep going. Because the moment we stop trying, we will never know.

      Good luck with writing and what you do, Captain. If we believe in what we do, we’ll have hope and when we have hope, anything’s possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Pingback: GOOD LUCK

  27. First of all, Mabel, I want to say how stunningly beautiful your photographs are in this post. The small, lone woman in the midst of a lovely scene is haunting. Are you the photographer or the woman?

    Congratulations on the publication of Lady on the River. Good job! Of all the bloggers I know, you’re one of the most serious and hard working. You always delve deeply into the subject you’re focused on.

    Although I write non-fiction for my blog, it’s only a sideline for me. My fiction comes first. I spend maybe one or two days writing a blog post and preparing the photos. I find non-fiction writing immeasurably easier than fiction. My first novel, Tiger Tail Soup, took about eight years to write. Although fiction may seem to offer a universe of options, with every choice one’s options are reduced. Everything in a novel depends on everything else. But when the whole edifice is carefully constructed, it’s a great pleasure to have created it.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your kind words on my images, Nicki. I put in as much love into them as my writing and each opinion I reflect on. I am both the photographer and person in all of these photos.What I did was set my camera on a tripod, put it on timer mode and got into position to take these shots 🙂

      Your book is on my to-read list this year. It sounds like a book that you put a lot of thought into, taking your time to craft the characters and familiarise yourself with the history behind the setting. A good work of fiction is often one that touches upon reality – and that is when, as you said, when it is carefully constructed.

      Like

  28. Mabel – I could read your posts all day 🙂 – and I agree with you that it is important and indeed enjoyable to read our fellow bloggers posts and to try and respond to as many of the comments as possible. I love your line “I hope to motivate others to see the beautiful that is difference” – what better motivation could one find. I think it must be extremely difficult and a little un-nerving writing non-fiction and you are brave to put yourself out there… but you do it so well. I find my poetry sometimes a little to revealing of my own emotions and values and maybe this is a similar thing to what you experience with your writing. Congratulations on the publishing, you deserve it. Stay warm 🙂

    Like

    • That is such a compliment. Thank you so much, Andy 😳 You hit the nail on the head. Unnerving is the right word there to describe how I feel about my writing a lot of the time. I also get intimidated by what others around me achieve, and not necessarily just writers but anyone in general.

      Your poetry is always so touching, and from what I read on your blog, it strikes chords with your readers. I always enjoy reading them and then reading how you’ve tagged each post to see if I’ve interpreted it how you meant it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  29. My guess is that you’re right about it being harder for people to make a name for themselves through non-fiction, although I have to admit that this is based on zero research or analysis on my part. Still, if Malcolm Gladwell can do it… 🙂

    Like

  30. Congratulations Mabel! I am thrilled for your success. What a wonderful start to 2017. I enjoyed reading your insights into your process. A great share. Looking forward to following your path as a non fiction author and cheering on many more publications to follow for sure! Bravo.

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Lita! It has been a great start to 2017…maybe this is as good as it will get 🙂 Definitely hoping to publish more books at some point. It takes time. Hope you are going well with writing too.

      Like

  31. I admire your commitment to writing Mabel and know how difficult it is. I imagine non-fiction is exponentially more difficult than fiction too. You are amazing the way you bare your soul in your blog, my compliments on your willingness to put yourself out there!

    Like

    • I think I love writing and blogging too much…and it could be my downfall one day. What and who you love can be a double-edge sword. There are a lot of things I don’t share about myself on here…and I love being a mystery 😀

      Like

  32. Many congratulations, Mabel. I am so pleased for you.

    This is a great piece of writing. I note the changes in you and your writing. Well done!

    I can also relate to some of the points you have covered in your post.

    Like

  33. Mabel, this piece resonated with me in many ways. Exploring what drives you to write, what is rewarding about sharing your writing and why it matters to you. Writing and sharing my writing are new in my life. Therefore, I am young in the journey of being a writer. But I have lived a lot. When I started my blog my goal was “one.” If I made a difference in someone else’s day, just one person, then it mattered. Writing my blog has been a strengthening of my belief that my voice matters, is equal to others, not less or more, that there is something for me to contribute. I hope I offer the possibility of healing through my poems. I am currently most excited about facilitating writing for others so that they can heal by finding their own voices.
    Thank you for your authentic sharing of your journey. I look forward to reading the book. You have a perspective on life that I know I can learn from. Good luck. Keep on writing.

    Like

    • Good to hear you lived a lot, Ali. When we live, we feel and experience stories and that’s when we can tell them. From what I’ve read on your blog, you have found your niche in writing, connected with it and your audience feels it too 🙂 Your poems force us to see beauty in this world, doing away with less trivial stress.

      When life beckons, it is hard to find time to write. It certainly feels that way for me now. Who knows what the future holds. Thank you so, so much for supporting Ali. A blogger once said this to me, and I’ll say it you: you are a force to be reckoned with.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Congrats on your new book! That’s an amazing achievement.
    Reflecting on your thoughts that being a niche writer can work against you – I think as with most things, there are pros and cons. Food blogs are popular because most people take an interest in food but then again because there are so many food blogs out there, it’s hard to excel and make a name for yourself. Whereas in a niche like yours with limited contributors, it’s easier to shine. Concentrate on the positives 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, Penne. It felt like a long journey with this one chapter. I don’t want to imagine how long my first own book will take, lol. Food blogs are visually appealing, and a lot of people are drawn to the visual. But as you said, focus on the positives, and there’s nothing like a good piece of writing that touches your heart and soul 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Congratulations Mabel on the fantastic achievement of being published! Each career has its share of challenges and as a writer full-time I understand about the isolation you speak of.. I know you will keep accomplishing great things and I’m supporting you every step of the way! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sandy. I do feel an affinity with creative non-fiction, and hope to do more of it at some point. It takes time for our big goals to happen, just like how it takes time to declutter our house…

      Like

  36. reading this post reminds me of all the things I love about your blog and your writing essence…..
    and seriously, M… this next line – some folks say stuff like this – but I really feel like you really mean it:

    If I connect with one person through my writing, that is my job done as a writer.

    and because you mean it – I believe it shows in your writing, which is genuine and rich!
    and as noted before – all the transparency you deliver to the world is far reaching.

    and woo hoo – glad to see our book mentioned. I will be using it for some workshops in June and I will let you know how that goes (so excited) and then I plan to promote it more either at the end of summer of the start of Fall 2017. I will keep you posted….. but reading this post has been like a shot of B-12!
    xxoo

    Like

    • I will forever be eternally greatful for your support, Y. Honestly, sometimes I wish I was like other blogs out there with more views and make money off my blog. Then I tell myself…fame is fleeting, and how you make someone feel and how they make you feel is what will last and linger.

      That is so exciting, the book in some of your workshops. Good luck with it. I love how the promo and it getting out is going…just like the theme of the book…slow and steady we see the light x

      Liked by 1 person

      • ahhhh – you nailed it, M. Slow and steady indeed.
        and really good things are in store for you because a. you have patience b. you have talent c. you write with your won voice d. you are grounded in reality (like have not quit your day job when you likely could) e. you are not lazy and you put in the hard work – to work – write- network – hone skills, etc. f. you write from your gut with a style your own g. your consistent – which you might refer to as your OCD – but your regularity is a plus –
        I could go on – cos you know I am a fan – but would not want to overdo it – lol
        xxoo

        Like

        • You really are making me blush, Y. Thank you so much. True. I could have up-ed and go-ed from my day job. But before that, I was out of work for two years and lived to write…but that thought me to harden up about reality and look at the positives of real work.

          It was such an honour to contribute to your book. Through the process. I learnt that you have a great talent and patience for editing and mentoring without going overboard or being pushy ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  37. Hi Mabel,you’ve hit on a subject I’m passionate about as well. I can also relate to the feelings of procrastinating and trying to come up with ideas to write about, ongoing on the blog. Congrats on the book! It looks very inspiring. I would say that writing non-fiction makes us vulnerable because we share our personal experiences. Your blog is phenomenally successful and I know it’s because you put your heart into it. I admire your ability to keep up with the comments and blog visits. I love visiting bloggers too but I know what you mean about time spent writing vs. Reading. Something has to give at some point :p now I will spend time reading the comments here because they’re always interesting as well.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for the support, Lisa. And for reading the other comments to. I really am humbled. There are certain things I hope to achieve with the blog, like having more engagement and writing in different styles, but we will see. I’m already happy with what I’ve achieved 🙂

      Keep writing what you write, Lisa. Divorce is both a personal and non-fiction topic, and it takes courage to write about it – let alone publish the divorce companion book and blog like you have. Very inspiring.

      Like

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