Random Harvest 9: Choosing Which Seeds To Scatter

Now that I’ve finished the main draft of After Black, I’ve been free to decide what to get stuck into next, in order to dovetail the new with the more routine editing process of the novel. I was so looking forward to this time of liberation – but guess what? It’s proving difficult. And my head has been buzzing with so many thoughts, ideas, not to mention self doubts, while my heart has been beating excitedly, off and on, at the prospect of doing some fresh new writing…but I’m all of a dither! No lovely smooth feeling of flow in calm water, but being bumped around by opposing currents.

So what’s the matter?

SEED 1

I think the inner critic has cast its eye over, and  prodded and probed, this particular seed.

I’ve been itching to write a memoir and guide to midlife crisis for some time now, which I have alluded to having gone through before. It’s really where all the reading that I’ve shared on this blog began and spans around the last 6 years of my life. There is a lot of ‘material’ to get stuck into, some of it funny, some of it not so. I love life-writing, and it would be something I would envisage self-publishing. It would be so refreshing a change from the plotting and intensity of fiction for a while, and I really want to do it. I’ve researched the idea of doing a hybrid book (memoir and ‘self help’ guide) and there are those who say it’s really popular now and people love reading other people’s experiences if they are written engagingly and honestly, and readers can learn from the writer’s experiences, but there are also those who say –  mix the two genres at your peril  – who are you to write a self help or guide book if you aren’t a professional psychologist? I can get around this by writing it as memoir first and foremost, forget the ‘self help’ wording, but keep the idea of a ‘guide’ perhaps, and basically ‘let the content define the form’ – this is a useful bit of advice I picked up somewhere and very much liked :>) But my inner critic has been whispering in my ear things like this:

People might say ‘Who do you think you are?

People might say ‘what you went through was nothing’ that ‘there are far more serious life experiences people go through than this!’ For crying out loud!

 People might say ‘what a fuss about nothing.’ Or even worse ‘what a load of rubbish!’

Two close friends I chatted to about it recently, thought it would be a bit too brave, that I risk being hurt by the possible reader reactions above, and so I’ve been wondering if I can withstand that. Answer? I honestly don’t know. But I don’t think I’ll be any more knowing of this in the future. Doing it now feels right.

Why am I thinking of reader reactions in advance of the writing? Because when I write, I want a reader – that’s it in a nutshell, and I suspect it is for many of us. In other words, it’s not a case of writing it just for me…

Where I’m at right now with this seed is, I’ve written the introduction, I’m mulling over my fears, but I want to begin. My head is urging caution, my heart is saying do it regardless.

SEED 2

My aunt’s box of files and  folders is still tied up with bale string, in our hut waiting for me. (Previous post here) I vowed I would take a serious look at her story of being a farmer’s wife, and the possible intrigues or paranoia therein in losing her farm, after I’ve finished my synopsis for After Black (currently 3 pages long. Too long!) My fears here are of becoming too embroiled and engulfed by a mass of information which I may not be able to do anything with, and which I will then be in the position of having to destroy as I haven’t the room to keep it, knowing I will be putting a permanent end to what amounts to her life’s work. Tricky one, to say the least! And although saying we weren’t close is putting it mildly, I respect the time and effort she put into her record keeping as I would anyone else who did the same. What will it feel like to decide it’s not viable? What will it be like to get to know my aunt through this ‘paperwork’ who I hadn’t even known for the last 30 years? So this is becoming a bit of a Pandora’s Box for me!

SEED 3

To carry on with novel 3, having written the first three chapters some time ago now – and that’s writers euphemism for too long ago! There are no fears concerning watering this seed, it’s just that I feel like a break doing some life writing instead for a while, and yet I don’t want to keep this novel waiting much longer.

Like many of us, I do have other seeds currently waiting on my writers to do list, but the above three are the ones I currently favour, albeit with my head and heart at odds with each other. And I’m sharing this dilemma with you as I expect some of you will know exactly what this conflict is like, as well as the self doubt, whether with writing or other creative projects clamouring for your attention. Anyway, I’ve decided to do some painting for a while and finish one I began too long ago to mention ;>) which is on my painting desk, and slow myself down a little, to stop struggling and find some natural flow to the direction I should take. Oh, and I can’t wait to get stuck into the garden when the weather improves, as I need to  sort the desirable from the not so desirable seeds growing in there too!

Another change I feel the need to make is with the frequency of my blog posts. So far I’ve had plenty to post about, more or less one a week, and I do enjoy it immensely, but to avoid feeling the pressure to come up with topics, and to avoid repeating topics, I’m going to go with the flow with these too. So it may be a case of one every two weeks for a while, but I will certainly still post whenever I feel I’ve got something useful to say or want to share, and I know that many of you bloggers will understand this need for a shift. But I will still be here and checking in with you, and here’s wishing you all well!

(lovely images from pixabay)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About lynnefisher

Writer and visual artist living in Scotland, INFJ type Writer's blog: lynnefisher.wordpress.com Art: lynnehenderson.co.uk Twitter @writeartblog Writers page Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lynnefisherheadtoheadhearttoheart/ Artists page Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lynnehendersonartist/
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20 Responses to Random Harvest 9: Choosing Which Seeds To Scatter

  1. It is difficult when we have so many ideas constantly invading our thoughts. At times I have worked on two books at a time ensuring however, they are in different styles and even genre. Taking a break, as you are currently doing with your painting, makes a lot of sense and should help rejuvenate. With regard to the memoir: I had a lot of doubts and concerns when first setting out. In fact it took many, many years before I even contemplated the idea of writing a book. However, now, my advice to anyone who has a story to tell is to sit down and just start writing. Do not worry about reader, or fellow author, reactions at this stage. Get the first draft completed and then take onboard your concerns when editing. I would tend to agree with the idea of not labelling it with a ‘self-help’ tag. I hope readers will find solace and help through the telling of my and my ancestors experiences but leave it to, hopefully, come out in the reading. Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Yes, this helps enormously, T.R. Many thanks for sharing you thoughts and experience. I’ve finished the synopsis for After Black, so all set to check through my aunts story. I’ll be editing the novel and starting the memoir in tandem which I feel is the right combination as well as taking breaks painting. The feedback I’ve had on my dilemma has been invaluable, including yours! So many thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I for one would love to read your thoughts on mid-life and ageing. I do understand though – putting yourself out there for judgement is scary, even when it’s in the context of fiction. Though I think if anyone tried to dismiss your experiences, it would speak volumes about their own issues! Best of luck with whatever you decide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thanks, Catherine – much appreciated! I’m going to give it a go and the responses I’ve had have helped me decide. Yes, you can be a more of a target with this genre, but with the first novel out of the way and surviving that (and I know where you’re coming from) I’m hopeful I can manage what may come of it. Maybe by midlife you wonder what you have to lose anyway ie it can be part of the process. Cheers!

      Like

  3. Lynne, whatever you do, I know it will be successful. I like the idea of a hybrid book—part memoir and part guide. I think as long as the writer’s voice is authentic, this form works quite well. I’m partial to these hybrid memoirs; I enjoy reading them and I’m also in the process of writing one. I think we can all learn from each other’s life experiences as long as they are not preachy. Best of luck to you in deciding. I understand about the blogging schedule, too. Go at your own pace, and whenever you do post, I and your other loyal readers, will be happy to receive your words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thanks you so much Cheryl…you’re writing one too? That’s wonderful and exciting. I wish you ‘good flow’. Yes, I’ve decided to go ahead, certainly not preachy, I agree. And I’ll try to make it entertaining. As Libby pointed out – go where the energy is, and that’s exactly it. Thank you so much for your encouragement and kind words, really very much appreciated :>)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m also reading The War of Art. I picked it up at a bookstore last weekend, after passing it over for many years. That must’ve been Resistance speaking! I’m finding it so helpful and empowering. Here’s to writing, being brave, and doing our Work!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lynnefisher says:

        So pleased you’re reading it, Cheryl. It is empowering and easy to dip into. Must be the right time for you – a bit of serendipity! Yes, here’s to being brave and ‘giving what we’ve got’ :>)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. galenpearl says:

    As I said before, we can free ourselves to write without concern for categories. We don’t need to fit into a box. I understand the trade off in marketing potential, so it becomes a question of our purpose in writing. I should say our primary purpose or motivation, since it is often mixed.

    About the frequency of blog posts, I hear you. I tried to adhere to a consistent frequency with my first blog, and I followed other blog marketing strategies, with the result that I had a large audience. But with my current one, I write when I want to. Like with the book comment, it makes a difference. My audience is smaller for this second blog, and I’m fine with that.

    With the first one, I got to the point where I felt the blog stats were driving the writing and I lost my enthusiasm. Or maybe I had just said everything I wanted to say about that theme. At any rate, I was tired of words, and I was mostly tired of my own words.

    When I started this one, I decided to let it evolve more naturally. I feel much less pressure, and I’m content with my small corner in blog world. It’s not good or bad to market or not market. Again, it’s just about our primary motivation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thank you Galen, wise words. The concept of primary motivation has to be above all else and imagining the people you want to reach. I don’t want blogging to become forced, so I prefer sharing when I’ve got something I feel is worth sharing! So far, lovely, and I intend to keep it that way. I read strategies for blogging too and tried some of the methods for a while at the beginning before I settled into my own comfortable groove and there I’m happy to stay. Going with the flow is part of my message so that’s what I will do with all my writing. And I love your blog just the way it is :>)

      Like

  5. Libby Sommer says:

    go with where the energy is, where the juice is. best of luck with your writing journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sumi Singh Writes says:

    I totally get where you are! The hybrid book sounds refreshing and stimulating. I’m sure you’ll choose the sequence of your seeds wisely ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Personally I love a memoir and I think the ‘self help’ bits come out naturally when the writer is open, honest and tracks the ah-ha moments and life lessons learned from having lived the life. I think it’s the great gift of growing older and becoming conscious of the path we have walked ……..every life has some gift to leave others. And those who are ready will discover the pearl……. And, finally, what’s to be lost in doing it anyway…… Just my thoughts in response to the first seed 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wishing you the best as you decide which seeds to scatter, Lynne. Follow your heart and don’t worry about what readers may or may not think. I’m in a similar pattern right now, so a lot of prayer is in order. Enjoy the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thanks Jill! I will follow my heart. I came across something in Steven Pressfields Book, The War of Art…’The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it’ …so that is good enough for me now! Wishing you well with your own projects!

      Liked by 1 person

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