It will surprise none of my regular readers to know that I’m writing a wine related book. I’ve been encouraged by friends to do this for a long time, and also encouraged just as long to write one about my experiences in Nepal, as a mountaineer, the chairman of an education charity, and most importantly as a member of my wife’s Nepalese family in Kathmandu. I didn’t intend to write anything about my strategy and process until I read Darlene’s blog post A Life in the Day of a Writer on her day as a professional writer which I found interesting and very valuable.
I’ve always been an early bird for doing anything creative, for example I have completed a chapter in my wine book this morning having started at 6am. It’s now 8am and I’m writing this blog post before breakfast. By 9am I’ll have finished and will probably do no more writing until tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean I won’t jot down a thought or two on my iPhone or iPad as they occur to me across the day.
I was most interested to read in Darlene’s post how she gets inspiration from being out walking her dog or stopping in cafes and observing or talking to people of different backgrounds or occupations, and it got me thinking how much I was lacking or missing. You see, one of the differences between the writing of Darlene and myself is one of fiction vs non fiction with my own Nepal book and this one on wine being more of a memoir and based on personal experiences. In some cases I have got previously written material in diaries, notebooks or blog posts, but often I am just digging around in my ageing brain to recall an incident, a conversation or a particular wine and how it tasted. And, using the Darlene experience, if I was sitting writing my notes or draft in Bar 66 in Beaune, Burgundy, or could sit with John in Bar Chablisienne in Chablis, or do a bit of vine pruning with Steve or William at Domaine Rebourgeon in Pommard, then I’m sure I could bring a greater richness or depth to my writing which at times seems too academic and without any sensory or emotional input. I’m struggling to know how I can do this as there isn’t a decent wine bar around here for miles, although there are one or two small vineyards within a 30 mile radius. Any suggestions gratefully received!
Conversely however I DO have a clear structure for the wine book, a system for capturing information and writing, as well a lot of learning about the technicalities of publishing on Amazon from my An Englishman in Nepal effort which I will share in my next post. In the meantime don’t forget to let me have any suggestions on inspiration for writing non fiction and here’s a few images likely to make it into the chapter I’ve finished this morning on the wines of Alsace and some of our visits and tastings there.