Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Less interesting than grass

This is an Insecure Writer's Support Group post. If you're a writer and ever suffer from insecurity, do join us.

I went to Scotland recently. If that's news to you then hello and welcome to the blog, you must be new! Anyway, I wanted to photograph a Highland cow while in the highlands (I'm a farmer's daughter) We saw some. We stopped. We photographed, but even when I got really, really close they took absolutely no notice and just carried on chomping away.

Now cows can't read. Maybe if they could they'd have been thrilled to see me? No of course they wouldn't. To a cow, grass is far more interesting than anything I might write.

When our writing gets little reaction that can make us feel insecure. Perhaps it shouldn't. If we're showing it to family who don't write themselves, or friends who aren't fans of our genre, can we really expect anything more than an unconvincing 'how interesting'?




Try not to let that put you off. Write what you want to write and only concern yourself with the reactions of those who share your passion - your writing group and/or buddies, readers, publishers and editors of your genre.

Oh and when your non writing friends and family share their golf handicap, baby photos or plans to repaint the bathroom, smile as brightly as you can and say 'how interesting'.


28 comments:

  1. Thank you for the reminder, Patsy. It's funny how writers do allow the feeling of insecurity to creep in. I would love to sit amongst those cows and read them my novel. Even a loud chomp or a moo would be gratefully accepted. Great pics.

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    1. Chomping is what you'd get, Nicola. Lots and lots of chomping.

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  2. Hi Patsy .. yes others' goals versus our online ones ... I love Highland cows .. there was a story a few years ago of one escaping from Swinefleet ... funny old life ... cheers and good luck with the writing ... Hilary

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    1. Perhaps it thought they'd be greener grass elsewhere, Hilary?

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  3. You went all the way to Scotland for your highland cows! I photographed some in the New Forest not so long ago and they are the most placid, beautiful animals.
    As for people not appreciating your writing my family only sat up and took notice when a letter was published in a magazine commenting on an article I had written. Other people were actually interested in what I wrote? Then they started offering ideas for what to write about next.
    Ann

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    1. The New Forest is just down the road, Ann - I might go and see if they're still there.

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  4. I keep all my writing to myself and even when I had my first short story published, although everyone was very pleased for me, I don't think they were really interested in reading it. That's when my writing group comes into its own and I get all the encouragement I need.

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    1. I'm glad you're part of a supportive writing group, Maggie. That's a real advantage.

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  5. That's a very good point - if they don't read our genre, they won't get excited.
    Fuzzy Coos - got to love those cows.

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  6. I just love Highland cows. They are....well, they're beautiful. And cuddly...? No. Perhaps not.

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    1. Probably best to be sure they're willing before starting on the cuddling, Frances.

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  7. Love that comparison. And so true! I will be gushing about some research I've done for my WIP that completely floored me and I'll see the eyes roll and the smile struggle. Sigh. Time to move on.

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    1. Sometimes when I'm not in a position to make a note I ask my husband to remember a plot point. He never looks astounded at my genius.

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  8. Love those pictures! We should only concern ourselves with the reaction of those who are passionate about what we do, but when your family doesn't show support or interest it's hard. And that's what my IWSG post is about.

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    1. Getting to support or interest at all would be hard, Chrys. I do get that, even from those who're not really interested in reading the result.

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  9. Ooh I could hardly get past those pictures - those Highland cows are so gorgeous
    :-) x

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    1. They are nice aren't they, Teresa. I *had* to spend ages with them to get tthe right shot.

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  10. A great reminder!
    Those pics are gorgeous! Wish I could visit Scotland again. Maybe one day.

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  11. Love those cows and I always think of Gary Larson for some reason:) I have actually done that to someone and they got so offended:) When i told them that they looked at my cards and just said "cute"...they tried to deny it! The person finally relented and now never shows me any more baby pics...thank god

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    1. Mybe we should carry book blurbs and brandish them whenever anyone gets out the baby pictures, Birgit?

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  12. Maybe it's just you Patsy! I often write notes when I'm working with my sheep and they love it. They read over my shoulder, chew the pages, nick my pen... I know, I shouldn't try and multitask but they actually do help, especially when I write about their antics

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    1. Appreciative sheep sound good, Hannah, especially ones which provide mareial to write about.

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Thanks so much for commenting!