I’ve been a member of CWD for a while now and regularly look at the FB page. I’ve thought quietly to myself – hmmm, this page doesn’t change much. Recently a friend explained that the FB page is not the blog page... My lack of computer knowledge prevented me from accessing the really useful information.
I found getting hearing aids rather like that – it’s a foreign country. And the explanation about use may be quite brief. Things sound quite different, and aids are not helpful in certain situations.
In the same way that I needed specific instructions to access the blog page, new users to hearing aids need some pointers as to what to look out for. I knew if I as a long-term wearer, was struggling with hearing aids, there must be many others struggling too.
And so, Rather a Small Chicken…a Guide to Hearing Loss for Family and Friends was born.
I am a non-fiction writer – usually from life experiences and lessons learned along the way. Writing about these things can be cathartic, and expressing my exasperations with hearing aids and hearing loss certainly was! I did many revisions.
Some of the things I learned about writing from life:
- When writing on an emotional topic, put the writing aside for a time (months – or a year if you happen to be me) and go back over it with a careful ear as to the tone of the writing. Bitterness, unintended slurs or anger can come across to readers in describing highly charged life experiences.
- Examine clarity of ideas - I wanted to write to people with widely varied backgrounds, and needed to keep sentences and information easily accessible.
- Length of work – this was to be an information booklet, not a novel length piece. It changed size several times and I had to act on the decision of ‘booklet’, not book, or fact sheet.
- Non-fiction from real life must reflect some facts - concise and accurate information was important.
- A little humour can make even an emotionally loaded topic less intense. (Thanks Anne B)
- A really good editor with an understanding of what appeals to readers is so important. I changed from structured third person to more conversational first and second person, on the advice of my editor. (Thanks Anne H)
- A really good friend with a ‘ministry in nagging’ to keep you moving forward. (Thanks N…)
It has been a journey – a long one, as I have wandered around, wondering if I really am a writer and whether I really do have anything to say. But the end of this part of the journey is close – with the booklet converted to the final file for printing just this week. Soon I will be learning about print on demand, e-books, marketing and book launches. But that is for the next blog…
I would love to have on-line discussions with others with hearing loss, so please pass on the BlogSpot to those you know who have a hearing loss. firstname.lastname@example.org
(My deepest apologies to all who have taken time and trouble to post on CWD! I will be working my way back through many blogs…)
Pamela Heemskerk found writing took her by surprise when recuperating from an illness and it has become a major part of her life. She has a passion for art, embroidery, children and telling people about hearing loss. She works as a physiotherapist with young children with a disability.