The publishing world of words can feel like a sausage machine. Writers quietly steel themselves away and pen tomes, reveal them to the world, readers devour them or ignore them unaware of the years of toil that has been invested in the pages. If a writer is successful they are expected to churn out bestseller after bestseller without any thought, or consideration, into the energy they invested into writing in the first place. Then their book babies are dissected in front of their eyes on the subjective gravy train and it is decreed by others whether they are worthy of a few stars, praise, or hellfire and damnation. It is not often considered that a bad review can destroy a writer’s soul. The writer’s inner child screams out.”Please love me and love my work.” We are gluttons for punishment on the path of good enough.
As I am a wham, bam type of chick when I started documenting my writing journey back in September 2015 I was pretty sure that I would have published my re-hashed memoir by now and would be flogging that horse until it was dead. But that hasn’t happened. My agent introduced me to an editor and told me to slow the truck down and now my book is evolving into something new and original. So now as I document the journey I see it as a record of the book’s evolution how it is turning from one thing into another.
In March 2015 I began running a creative writing session with the Year 7 & 8’s (11-13 year olds) from my son’s school. We began writing about the transition from this world into new realms. I had already been toying with idea of ‘BlunderLand’ and my editor had said that the memoir should mirror Alice in Wonderland and so Alice in BlunderLand was born. BlunderLand is a theme park where you learn from your mistakes. I am catapulted into it one day via a magic shelter skelter in my airing cupboard. Yes, think Jamie and his magic torch. The book is based on my perceptions of truth. Truth in itself is subjective, like the three blind men and the elephant, especially if we are not part of the whole so I like the idea of using metaphor to blur the meanings of my truth. This will be helpful for me to convey the roller coaster that is life and self discovery.
My editor has agreed that a short piece of writing I found in an old notebook belonging to my late mother, who passed away when I was 2 years old should be the start of the book in the form of the prologue. It was written in 1974 and to some extent could be considered an early parent blog post as it details the first two years of my life in the same way that I have chronicled my own children’s growing up on this blog here.
Here I read the prologue to you:
You can read it yourself here:
Here is the first draft of chapter one. This chapter may change but it illustrates the transition of the text. It is currently with Sarah Westcott, my editor, who will feedback to me on it’s evolution. This is part of the writing journey and demonstrates how writers and editors work together. I am hoping retrospectively this journey will serve as a book writing record of how books are created and the effort that goes into them behind the scenes.
You can read it yourself here:
Clare Macnaughton; a modern military mother; a feminist, British military spouse, and lifestyle journalist, writing about real life adventures.
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