Hello again, and happy (belated) new year. The past six weeks have been a productive and exciting time for me. I had a refreshing break over Christmas and New Year, with a lot of singing, 5 Rhythms dancing and relaxing with friends. This fuelled me to go over the finish line with my ‘Wild Motherhood’ book, which I’ve been working on since 2012, and to complete my Wild Motherhood website set up – which launched in early January. It’s full of insights, tips and resources for creative- and spiritually-minded mothers – check it out here. Recent blog topics have included being an introverted mother, creative tips for busy mothers (and busy people in general!), and sources of support for mothers. I’ve also been facilitating a Wild Motherhood Facebook group since early January, which has some exciting interaction and bouncing of ideas. On the copywriting front, I recently did some re-writing and collaborative web copy creation with photographer Annabelle Nicoll, which was a rewarding process and inspired me to work with more artists in future.
Now, the next step is the book – and where to take it from here. I’ve tried a small women’s publisher which seemed a good fit – as the director has herself written on the topic of mothers’ creativity – but unfortunately although I got some very good feedback, what she felt to be the ‘academic’ tone of my writing wasn’t a good fit for them. I had considered whether to re-work the tone as I was coming to the end of the book, but it seemed like an enormous undertaking and a bit unrealistic. This leads me to some big questions about who my audience is, and where my book fits into the publishing market. In the meantime, there is of course the self-publishing option, which is so much easier these days. I’m researching the Createspace and Lulu.com options at the moment, and also mulling over whether to re-work my book so that it fits more squarely into a ‘self help for mothers’ framework rather than a blend of memoir/qualitative research/tips as it currently stands.
Sometimes it feels as if I spend a lot of time supporting other people’s creative processes and encouraging them to give themselves permission to play with their writing – only to find I leave that out of my own world. Lately it feels like it’s time to take my own medicine! Having completed a non-fiction piece of work (although the ‘completeness’ is now in question!), I have felt the space opening up to my creative writing again. A couple of weeks ago I attended a monthly creative writing group at the Brighton Buddhist Centre with Danielle Kerris, and it felt great to give my writing that space. We explored the theme of ‘castaway’, and a writing exercise on ‘Desert Island Discs’ had me re-connecting with some vivid times and places. I am also doing more ‘free writing’ exercises and linking with the poetry world again. A new poem, ‘Through a Glass Darkly’, was shortlisted in a competition and will appear in an anthology called ‘Home is Where the Heart is’ in May.
I have a few writing workshops and groups coming up in the next few months, specifically for mothers, and am looking forward to venturing out from behind my computer and interacting with people in exciting ways about the power of the written word. I am currently working on a free E-book of creative tips for mothers, loosely adapted from my Wild Motherhood book, for subscribers to my Wild Motherhood site. I’ve also been thinking a lot about the role of the internet in my work, specifically social media, and the pro’s and cons of that. It sometimes seems as if I spend a lot more time on social media than actually writing. One solution seems to be to go somewhere ‘offline’, like the library, and work solidly on a project, which I’ve been doing today – and made a lot of progress. Any other tips welcome 🙂