SOS from the depths of formatting hell

I love writing. It’s not always easy, though. I’m not someone who wakes up in the middle of the night with a eureka storyline, oh no. More likely, an idea pops into my head at the most random of times, like buying tomatoes. I love creating scenarios where people can do whatever I want them to do (control freak? moi?). I love the endless possibilities of it all. What I don’t love, is formatting.

I mean, honestly. Who ever  heard of using ‘styles’ in Word to format a document? Seemingly everyone else apart from me – that’s who. It was a right royal pain in the backside, but it wasn’t too tricky in the end. I almost had a celebratory glass of wine – until it came to paperback formatting.


I honestly don’t think there’s a better form of torture. For 3 days, I stayed up until way, way past my bed-time, trying to figure it all out. Page breaks, section breaks, blank pages, and page numbering…God, the page numbering.

Is it just me? Did anyone else find this insanely difficult? Maybe its because I break out in hives whenever I have to use footers in Word, but I just couldn’t get my head around it at all. Well, okay, I couldn’t get my head around it until I realised I was doing it wrong.


What made it worse, was that I was following instructions written in a way that anyone could understand. Maybe I just have a penchant for overthinking things to the point of them making no sense at all, whatsoever.

There is one consolation though. At least when it comes to my next book, I’ll be a dab hand. Or at least, I hope so, otherwise I’ll have no hair left. Maybe there’s some kind of support group for formatting-scarred writers. If there isn’t one, there should be.

But, I guess it’s not all bad. I’m a step closer to my goal of getting it out in paperback. It’ll all be worth it in the end.


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