Happy New Year! Will 2017 be the year for my next retro diet book?
I needed to take time away from my writing after my divorce was final in 2015. In addition to the major changes and emotional recovery that brings I have had to dedicate a lot of my resources to address my chronic nightmares from multiple childhood traumas. That's still happening.
Thoughts of a follow-up to American Women Didn't Get Fat in the 1950s never left me. I had spent a good deal of time pre-divorce getting my research ready and this year gave my home office a transformation to make it more conducive to writing.
Why, then, was I still up against writer's block? I had to dig deep to figure out what was really preventing me from starting the next literal chapter in my writer's life.
It was fear.
Fear of being misread, misunderstood or maligned. My book turned out to be very polarizing. For example:
The latest ratings on Goodreads
During the first year after I published my book I received a steady flow of messages from women thanking me and letting me know how helpful my book was to them. That was very rewarding and encouraging! On the flip side I was accused of being a "fat shamer" in online reviews and social media. Yes that sucks but I knew it shouldn't be a show stopper for me because surely there's a way to write a follow-up without offending anyone. Right?!
Every time I attempted to start I would talk myself out of it. If I include excerpts from my favorite 1930s weight loss guru some people would read it as "fat shaming." If I write about how books I've read from the Victorian Era have heavily influenced my lighter eating some people would point to how women couldn't vote during that time so why would I glorify the era. Surely I must be an anti-feminist. Sharing my joy of hard work in the kitchen would, to some, make me an Archie Bunker.
I woke up this fine 2017 morning with this resolution:
I don't court or crave controversy but I won't cave into it, either! I won't use it as a basis for whether or not I voice what is important to me. By "voice" I mean my writing. I'll be passing along information to empower more women--and men this time--to approach eating and weight from a wholesome and yes, outdated perspective that worked for millions! And yes, it will surely not be helpful to others.
Writing is the easier part but the editing and formatting is not. My goal is to first write a manuscript and then shop publishers. Given real life and that I still have to bring in money while I write I don't have a timeline. However I'd rather start it now and do my best in my time frame with what I have than not write it at all.
What do you think, dear blog readers? Would you be interested in a follow-up book? Lurkers, I want to hear from you, too!