This McSerial – my first – is called Family Fictions. It’s set on the Isle of Mull in 1996 and a century before. It will run in the McSerial slot on McStorytellers for 12 weeks. It’s a story of secrets which cannot remain hidden and probably lurks somewhere between a domestic family drama and a psychological drama. It may have elements of the supernatural in it. Perhaps that’s for the reader to decide.
Most importantly, it’s the kind of story I like to read, and I hope you will too. I started writing largely because I love reading so much and I wanted to get right ‘into’ the creative medium in a more active way. I have never regretted it for a minute.
I write because I enjoy it. I always feel sorry when I read about writers who find the whole process painful or difficult because I wouldn’t do it if I found it unpleasant. Of course it can be hard work, anything creative has that element of hard work in it, so it’s probably not for people who buckle at the sight of a challenge, but first and foremost I have to say that I do this to relax. I also find that I can reach out to others best by exploring inside my own mind.
I write to explore my creativity and hopefully to communicate my thoughts and emotions to other people. It’s as simple as that. I don’t feel constrained by the polarity of views that suggest you have to write either for yourself or for ‘the market’. The act of creation is mine, but I’ve always got a reader, if not ‘the’ reader in mind while I write. And remember I’m a reader too. I think the relationship between the two is interesting in so many ways. And today, one of the most exciting things is the possiblity offered by the internet to 'connect' the two. Imagine if you could email Emily Bronte, or Robert Louis Stevenson (though Emily probably wouldn't be on email, and RLS was notoriously slack in his responses) But you know what I mean. These days it's possible to read a writer's work, which is a way of getting to know them, and then 'get to know them' virtually through the web. Sometimes you even get to know them 'for real.' I've certainly met a few really interesting writers this way (for real and online.) I think sometimes people are afraid to make friends with writers - but many writers like nothing better than to sit and talk about reading and writing. It's not about getting 'fans' its about making friends.
In the process of transforming from reader to writer (and back again) which happens when you write, I have discovered that they are two parts of a whole – and this duality is more interesting to me than the sort of polarity which tends to be the province of those who debate the whys and whofors of writing - wanting to set and follow rules - write what you know, write for the market, write for pleasure, write for the reader... I guess there are as many different reasons to write as there are writers. It's for each of us to decide why we do it. But if you want to do it - do - there's never been a better time to be creative this way. Which seems strange when it seems (as it often does) that words put together sequentially in over 140 characters and for a purpose other than status updates are under threat from pictures and memes and hashtags and emoji.
In my view, creativity is something we should cherish not fear. It offers us the opportunity to step outside of the mundane aspects of life and to engage both with our inner feelings and with our desire to share with others. I write because it’s my chosen, and favourite, means of being creative. If I could paint, I’m sure I’d do that because the ‘tools’ are so much more appealing – all those paints and brushes rather than pen/paper and most usually a computer screen.
I’m happy to be a McRenegade and in a week’s time my relationship with readers really begins. I’m looking forward to it and I'm hoping I make some new friends along the way.