A common question people ask authors is “How did you decide to write about that?” The answer isn’t always easy.
Some years ago, Nigel and I started writing nonfiction books about dowsing, a subject we are passionate about; a topic on which we are authorities. The mild success of those books led to the inevitable glimmer of hope that maybe we could successfully write fiction, too. But how do you decide what to write about?
I started a novel a few years ago on a science fiction/fantasy type subject, one that I am really interested in and believe could be a great story, but it got stalled as life took over. It is now sitting in a Scrivener file of 80,000 words, awaiting my attention.
When I renewed my commitment to writing in late 2014, I asked the Universe what I should be writing about that would be of interest to readers, rather than just what I really wanted to write about. The point being, if you want to be successful as a writer, you need to write what readers want to read.
The answer came into my head one morning as if by injection. I saw myself writing about a retirement community, and how life doesn’t end at retirement. It could be an uplifting story of the potential for happiness at any age, if you are just willing to be courageous and take action. Perhaps I was inspired to write the Autumn In The Desert series by looking at my own choices and experiences as someone over 55. I certainly changed my life dramatically as I neared my 50th birthday.
On the other hand, intuition seems to have played a part because of the way the answer came to me, not through my mental processes, but like a bolt from the blue. That’s how I can tell intuition from rational thinking; it isn’t stepwise and logical. It appears fully formed in my head, as if someone else gave it to me.
Regardless of how the idea came to me, I feel good about writing a story that hopefully will encourage readers to believe in love, to choose what will make them happy, and to be willing to make big changes to create a great life in their golden years. Life’s challenges don’t go away as we age; they intensify, giving us chances to rewrite our story. Autumn In The Desert is a series about people who rewrite their life stories; people who don’t; and it gives the reader a chance to decide which camp she’s in.