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  1. Hublocker

    Hublocker Member

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    "Back to the land" memoirs?

    Discussion in 'Non-Fiction' started by Hublocker, Jan 30, 2019.

    I live in British Columbia. In the 1970s, my wife and I bought 10 acres of bush, cut the trees down, milled the trees into boards with a chain saw, collected poles from the woods and the beach and built a cabin on a remote island with a small village on it. We had a toddler, ducks, chickens, goats, and eventually a horse and a pig. Initially we had no running water or electricity and cooked and heated with wood. My wife gardened and I shot the occasional deer for meat (even legally sometimes) and black bears on nearby Vancouver Island when we eventually got electricity for a freezer.

    I worked on fishing vessels in season for salmon, crabs and prawns. The local community was kind of inbred, conservative and many people were prejudiced against us "hippies," even though we did not identify with the so called hippie movement.

    We lived this life from 1977 until 1986, expanding the garden every year as I tried to work my way onto better boats. We took casual labouring jobs when we could get them, banging nails, pouring cement, gardening, etc. We were pretty poor most of the time though, and most years I did not have enough real wage work to qualify for unemployment benefits. We ate lots of home grown veggies,deer meat, goat milk and eggs.

    Every year in the book stores I see a new batch of "I lived on an island, in the bush on a commune" type non-fiction books. Looking at them, I see many of these stories don't have half the depth or number of anecdotes I can just think of off the top of my head from my own experiences. One for example that I saw recently recounted one woman's year on a small island on the coast here in BC; kind of a "Year in Provence" kind of thing. It was pretty lackluster if you ask me.

    I'm compiling my recollections of all the things we did in those years. Should I make an attempt to pitch them as a book when I've got 60 or 70,000 words down?
     
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  2. making tracks

    making tracks Active Member

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    I haven't read much of this type of non-fiction personally so I'm not sure what the competition / market is like, but I know there are a lot of people out there who dream of living that kind of life, and it has been very romaticised. I think it would be a really interesting read to see what it was really like and hear the anecdotes - the funny ones, the emotional ones, the frustrating ones, the ones that were horrible at the time but are now some of your most cherished memories. For some people they might want inspiration to do something similar, for others they might see it as a pipe dream and want to live vicariously through books. I think if you'll enjoy writing it, you've got nothing to lose by trying to get it published! There are also some newspapers in the UK with regular weekly columns who might publish something like that, an anecdote or reflection per week, so that could be worth looking into (but I'm by no means experienced in this department). Good luck!
     
  3. Hublocker

    Hublocker Member

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    Thank you for the encouragement. I don't think it was that remarkable a life, because it was simply my reality for quite a while, but I see that it is kind of out-of-the box for many people so it might be interesting for others to read.
     
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  4. NathanRoets

    NathanRoets Member

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    I'd most certainly be interested in reading it - especially with the type of anecdotes mentioned by @making tracks!
    There's a lack of raw, honest accounts like this, and I think that even if you don't end up with a huge following, you'll definitely catch the attention of a lot of people who tend to romanticize the kind of life you've lead.
     
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