Day 12…

[You can listen to me read this post, below]

I, love, commas.

When I handed what I thought was the final draft of Be a Hobbit to my girlfriend, Patience–and was there ever a more apt name for someone living with me and editing my 560 page tome–I was sure it was nearly perfect.

But I was incorrect.

I was on a deadline to have the thing turned in a couple of days to Amazon–the online, one stop shop for everything, not the rain-forest in South America–I was lacking sleep, was irritable as fuck, but happy to have reached the end of  the journey of writing my first book. I had already Tweeted, “It is written” a week before, or more, so I was ready to actually be done.

But Patience was draggin’ ass (that means ‘taking her time’, not part of Smaug the Dragon’s anatomy) on the final read through. When I got Part One from her, Mordor is at the Door, I realized why.

She had been micro-editing all of my fucking commas!

I instantly became defensive, “This is my book! It’s my voice! That’s how I write! etc etc.”

“How in the hell are we going to meet the deadline if I have to go through this entire fuckin manuscript again, staring at every damned comma?”

But she was right. There were too many commas still in the text. So I told her not to worry about commas; I would go through and eliminate as many as I could. There are probably still too many  commas in Be a Hobbit; I guarantee it. When I read parts of it now, I see them.

But commas can be important.

They give dramatic effect, if employed in the right spot–and that last one was definitely not all that important, ya know.

I love commas, however, because they can sometimes save lives. Yes, that’s what I said, save lives.

Let's eat Grandma Donner!

Let’s eat Grandma Donner!

Consider the following statement that my friend, James, has on a coffee mug: “Let’s eat Grandma.”

Now, if you’re living in a headhunting tribe somewhere in the deep Amazon–that’s the rain-forest, not the online, one stop shop for everything– or a member of the Donner Party snowed-in on a Rocky Mountain Pass all winter, then maybe it’s okay to turn your father’s mother into a happy meal. But in most culture’s, it’s frowned upon, so you better use a comma, “Let’s eat, Grandma” and save a life.

So, I’m not an abuser of commas; I’m a saver of lives. Put that in yer pipe n smoke it!



Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE