I spent the month of April writing about Paris here on the blog. It was my third Nanowrimo event, having done 40K words last April and 50K in November. I can’t say I ‘enjoy’ Nano events. Do people ‘enjoy’ running a marathon? At least writing doesn’t give you blisters the size of the entire sole of your foot.
I got a lot of reads here on the blog in April mostly because I was writing about Paris and I know how to market Paris. I have more than 4000 followers on my Facebook page called I love Paris and simply posting the link on there each day brought hundreds of readers. Some Paris Lovers (as I have affectionately called my page followers) have urged me to keep writing. And I am tempted. It was great to see my page views jump sky high, get great comments on my page and gather new followers. I have been toying with the idea of writing non-fiction or creative non-fiction about my travels to Paris over the years but I found I wasn’t really enjoying it. How annoying!
I love writing fiction. It’s fun. Writing NF, especially when it’s your own history can be a little tedious and nerve-wracking because you don’t want to get anything wrong, or god forbid, offend anyone. Our memories can be unreliable at times and my first trip to Paris was a bit crazy because I was grieving. I was a mess and I did some stupid things. Do people really want to read about all the dumb stuff I did, just because it happened in Paris?
I have to admit I will read anything set in Paris and I am most certainly not alone there!
I read a lovely book last year, set in Paris, about a woman who bought an apartment in Paris while grieving her mother. It was a sweet book but the author copped a lot of flak about her (obviously co-dependant) relationship with her mum. I don’t need that kind of shit in my life. I don’t need to write about my cruel in-laws, my fickle friends or my neglectful family members and dredge all that back up, but if I simply write a travel narrative about Paris it might all seem a little pointless.
I still feel the drive to write the story but I am not really sure of my motivations at this point. Is it okay to write something a bit shocking, a bit mad, just because other people might get something from it, or enjoy it? Will it really help other widows to know how I survived or just to know that all these years later I am happy? Can I find a way to write about Paris that’s engaging and entertaining without bringing all that personal guff into it? That’s what we call fiction!