I have long suspected that some, if not all of the work we produce could be better, for despite polishing each book until our arms drop off, and employing beta readers along the way, sales are not improving.
Another reason that prompted this post is that I am struggling with a memoir/travelogue of a holiday we took over 40 years ago.
It is called Lazy Days, a light-hearted and often funny account of our first family holiday on the Norfolk Broads. We were two adults, four kids and two dogs, a young family who had never done anything like this before. We didn’t get to do it again, which was a shame, but none of us will ever forget that exciting time.
Lazy Days is very like the very popular ‘Narrow’ books by Marie Browne of life on a narrow boat.
We all remember this holiday as one very special time, so I have finally transcribed the skipper’s logbook that we kept back then. Having never written a memoir before, I need some help to make sure it is good enough to publish.
What we need, I have discovered, is to be part of a critique group or Team. Sacha Black calls it a ‘street team’, a small army of readers dedicated to making a book the best it can be. This group once formed would benefit everyone in the group, sharing the editing, beta reading or whatever is needed.
If anyone would be interested in being a part of such a team or has any better suggestions, please get in touch, either in the comments or via the contact page.
This travelogue is the true story of our family’s first proper holiday back in the Seventies. Looking back, I wonder what made us think it was a good idea, but despite all the things that could have gone wrong, we had a fantastic time. I was the Skipper most of the time, and for some reason decided to record our adventures in a small notebook. We were young and without husbands, Anita was a widow, and I was glad to be rid of mine. (and that is another story) Money was precious and scarce back then, but all the saving and sacrifice turned out to be worth every single memory we all cherish.
This notebook has been kept safe, despite numerous house moves and family disasters, as a symbol of our courage and determination. It could so easily have been one of the stupidest things we had ever done, but even after 40 years, we have such good memories of that time.
Over the years, I often thought of making it into a proper book, but along with everything else in our often-complicated family life, it was something I never got around to. Until just recently, when I was looking for some old photographs, found the now fragile notebook and knew it was time.
It wasn’t as easy as I imagined it would be either, for my logbook writing skills leave a lot to be desired, but there was just enough information entered on those pages to get me started.