The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Book Struggle

Last year towards the end of September, I spent 10 days as Artist in Residence at the Wigtown Book Festival, where I took over 170 portraits of authors, visitors and residents of Wigtown.

At the beginning of June, I return there as part of Spring Fling – the annual Open Studio event across SW Scotland – and will be opening up “The Hut” again, so people can come and take a look at the photos and feel over 340 eyes staring at them as they do so.

One final aspect of the project still to complete is the book I intended to put together of the event – to include a bit of back story, anecdotes and all the portraits taken.

And at the moment, it’s this book that’s giving me the most grief.

Editing and arranging all the photos is time consuming and laborious, but it’s the writing I’m struggling with the most.

I thought it was going to be quite straightforward. I have a diary and blog posts written at the time. Surely all I had to do was gather them together, edit them, expand on a few bits and throw in a couple of stories about particular images.

But I keep getting swamped with the feeling of “so what?” over what I’m writing. Why would anyone be interested in what I have to say about this or that? Just because I did something or spoke to someone, doesn’t automatically make it an interesting read for anyone else.

Unless I can work my way through this, it might just end up as a picture book only.

20 comments

hope said...

Because what you have to say is INTERESTING...not all of us live in your part of the world or have your experiences.

That said, I've always been a "rest of the story" person...I want to know more. So, you can't leave me hanging. :)

a small player in God's plan. said...

keep working on it. I'm sure that you will be inspired and the words will flow out easily at some point!

Aoife.Troxel said...

So what?
Just kidding, but seriously, why do you think you have so many followers? Because you have the ability to make the normal and even the mundane really funny or interesting. Like hope said, not everyone has had the same experience; to you they may be boring but to someone else they might be amazing. Also, if you've been living with them for a while, they will have gotten old. Surely the first time you did that something or spoke to that someone it was interesting. Remember for the readers it will be the first time. Stick with it...

Eric said...

Just go for it Kim. Toss the self doubts back with a pint ;)

Jayne Martin said...

I bet every image evokes a memory, a feeling or a snippet of conversation. Maybe you could think of an overall theme for the book and choose photos that in some way speak to that theme. You'll come up with something, my talented friend. I have all the faith in the world in you.

Pat said...

I recognise that feeling Kim and you just have to stuff it away and believe in yourself. Why do you think you have such a disgusting amount of followers?
Come along now - buck up!

Morgen said...

Kim,
Each of us has a unique experience, unique viewpoint. No matter if you think it's crap or not, put it out there. I struggle with this every day myself. I'm taking a couple of writing classes this semester at school, getting ready for the "real work" to come in August. These writing classes require a project, and I'm using the same story for both of them. I feel totally intimidated on a daily basis because my little story is such crap compared to the other students who have never taken a 30 year hiatus from writing. They are of course, 30 years younger than myself, as well. But it doesn't matter. My view, my story, is just as valid as theirs. Just as your view and your story is just as valid as mine. WRITE IT! No one else can write the story you can write. Let us share your viewpoint. But we can only do that if you put it down and share it with us.

Much love,
Morgen
USA

Titus said...

Yes, I'll concur with what others have said Kim, but the voice in your head can be a reliable guide too. If you're thinking 'So what?' maybe the words just need a different approach. Either tighten or loosen - I'd try the loosening first.

Anna van Schurman said...

Doesn't stop you from writing here. How about you try a little bit of it out on us? Then you can get some feedback to help you through.

Conny said...

Kim, I am ALWAYS interested in what you have to say! Because you have ALWAYS something very interesting to say! I would round up everything very perfectly. You are one of the very little people who have both skills: photographing and writing skills!!!!

Conny said...

Kim, I am ALWAYS interested in what you have to say! Because you have ALWAYS something very interesting to say! I would round up everything very perfectly. You are one of the very little people who have both skills: photographing and writing skills!!!!

TalesNTypos said...

Kim, life would be dull without human interaction. People are fascinating. Even you. Just do it. *staring menacingly at ya*

Synergy Gallery said...

Because WE obviously enjoy reading what you write!... find a formular, a rhythm, a mood, a way of telling it that interests you Kim. Your the one who's got to like it. (we already do)
Katie

Synergy Gallery said...

I know its not really related: but just happened across these great writing tips, mind you they're for fiction really... still http://sistersofthepen.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/dr-kims-top-writing-tips/

Charlie said...

I think thats what all writers go through not just yourself, and as other people have mentioned they do read your blog for a reason.

mapstew said...

What Pat said! :¬)

Theanne said...

I'm only one person, but I'm interested (always) in what you have to say Kim! I WANT WORDS ;-)

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you Hope, ASPIGP, Aoife, Eric, Jayne, Pat, Morgen, Titus, Anna VS, Conny, Adila, Katie, Charlie, Mapstew and Theanne for your faith in me and words of encouragement.

I've made a start, although it remains a struggle. Much like I've said before about writing blog posts - the problem is these days I think in terms of photographs rather than written words, and this means my writing doesn't flow as easily as it used to.

But yes, there will be writing in the book, although it's unlikely to be award winning stuff...

Guyana-Gyal said...

Self-doubt, to some extent, is good...it makes you question, not take things for granted. After that, you have to trust your insights. Way to go, Kim!

Kim Ayres said...

Still a bit more to write. Some of it's OK, but some isn't :(

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