When I set about blogging The Peat-Free Diet it was an experiment, an journey into the unknown. My aim was to provide gardeners who want to garden without the use of peat with the information they need to do so, and the book evolved into a gardening primer that assumed peat was not on the menu. My love of science made more of an appearance than I had anticipated and there are plenty of big words to cope with, but it is my hope that they are presented in such a way that they are not hard to swallow.
The nice things about blogging a book are that you get to write in manageable chunks and receive fairly instant feedback on whether you’ve hit the mark or not (and, in one or two cases, the fact that you can’t spell/ type/ proofread!). As the audience grows they develop expectations, and there is a strong motivation to complete the next section before everyone gets bored and wanders off. And a positive comment or two makes the next section look far less daunting!
One of the problems of blogging a book is that a blog is a very linear being. On more than one occasion I sat down to write the next section and then realised that it would make more sense if I wrote a different bit first. Sometimes I did; sometimes I didn’t. When you see a printed book, all of these kinks have been worked out during the writing and editing process and the ‘magic’ stays behind the scenes.
For those of you who are interested in statistics, the blogged version of the book comprised 25,000 new words and took me around 35 hours to complete. The ebook version will be longer, as it will combine in one place some of the older material on the blog that I drew into the book. To get the design, typesetting and layout into place will take considerably longer – an added value that is often under appreciated.
The blog posts will remain online, and I hope that if you feel strongly about a section (or have useful information to add) then you will consider leaving me a comment, sending me an email or finding me on Twitter (@emmathegardener). There’s always the possibility of a second edition!
Still in Oxfordshire
I would like to thank all of the people who posted comments on the blog posts as they appeared, tweeted links, and started conversations on Facebook. If I have a record of your name then it appears below, but even if you remain anonymous (through your choice or my error) then I am grateful for your contribution – your comments helped bring this book to light.
(If you would like to change the way your name appears, remove it from the list, or add yourself in if I have forgotten you, then let me know! The final list will be included in the ebook version.)
Trish le Gal
Mark Ridsdill Smith
John ‘Compost’ Cossham
Joan Lambert Bailey
Caro (Urban Veg Patch)