If my Words are Not Read, did I Write them At All?

Lucky for me I have you reading these words.

My title refers to the other stories we all write. Or think of writing.

Many people journal – in fact it is quite the thing in some circles. We used to call it a diary and I have many but I will admit to you here that they were written to be read. And one of the reasons I started the blog was so I could journal the journey of the farm and join with you all in chatting in the Lounge of Comments.

Anything I write for no-one to read is burned. Writing is not a therapy for me.

I was speaking with Jim in the comments yesterday – trying to answer his question as to why I was using the platform SubStack to publish my new stories. Or even needed somewhere to put them. It was such a good question because it made me think.

Black and White border collie watching cat walk behind him. Sat on green grass with white and grey farmhouse behind him.

Here is my (amended) comment.

I am at a point in my journey as a writer where I am ready to take myself seriously and lock down a style in my long-form writing. Writing that is not dependent on the farm or location. Or my ‘brand’ (The short stories).

Substack may give me the encouragement to write consistently – every day. As a training if you will.

I have so many short stories and early days stories written and tucked away that need working on.

What good are these unread words. 

See how I wrote this comment? All in short choppy form. A prime example of why I want to enable/retrain myself to get back to that long gorgeous sumptuous lilting writing again – where did I lose that habit – Social Media? — I think Substack may be a good place for me to recover my real writing. What do you think?

I think setting a Monday deadline and maybe developing a small cadre of paying (and of course free subscribers) might enable me dig deep into long form writing. Explore words again. Hold me accountable.

I will be launching there (SubSTack) with only words – no personal pictures. I am taking my crutch out from under myself. (There will be wobbles).

Can I get up every morning and continue using the same style and voice? Or am I too fractured.

I will develop a platform that is not dependent on the farm for subject matter. Or travel or sustainability. (I am trying to find again that girl who wanted to be a writer – a writer of short stories who ironically loves to read long novels). The writing will be from my own head and the challenge of holding a reader purely with words and how I arrange them is a heady one.

Plus there is the paid subscription option. The kitchens garden blog has always been free. And will remain so. Same with the Sustainable Home Monthly Newsletter. (But I do need to make some money to feed all these animals), (and for me so I can have time to write).

Not wanting to become this fellow living on red wine and crackers in a back room garret. Thank you Misky!

Carl Spitzweg - Der arme Poet

Which led me to look for a platform where readers are set up to pay someone to write. I think four stories might be worth 5 dollars a month.

Do you think?

I wrote an haiku last night:

If I write to you
And you do not read my words
Do I write at all

I am not a poet but this is a real thought trying to battle its way out. And one way or another I do want my words to be read.

Anyway. Time for action! I end up doubting myself for doubting myself. I am old enough to know better!

Wai the pot belly rescue pig waiting inside the feed shed for his dinner and a brush.

Wai wants feeding or else he going to run amok in the feed shed.

Just the thought of this old blind pig running amok makes me laugh – not at you WaiWai definitely with you!! More laughter! WaiWai never laughs – he takes pig life ‘very seriously’!

Interior of old barn.

I can almost hear the chug of the milking machine in this abandoned milking parlour.

Brown and Black speckled hen in cage looking furious. .

This is the last hen to be caught. And she had a terrible time before I was able to trap her. Being out with all those roosters resulted in really nasty wounds on her shoulders.

While mounting a hen the rooster stands on top of her and holds on with his claws. This girl has had the skin ripped open on her back. Repeatedly by the looks of it.

Chickens can be mean to each other too (especially if weakened) so she will stay in her little cage until her wounds are dried up – this will give her a chance to acclimate, too. Maybe the others will just ignore her when I let her out tonight.

She really is a pretty young hen. Pretty angry at the moment!

We did get a tiny dusting of snow overnight and have one more night of cold before it warms up again.

I may have made a mistake leaving my pots of big potted plants out. But sage and rosemary can take a bit of cold. Fingers crossed.


The warm snap is over. Cold snap coming up. Then warm snap then cold snap again.

Weather Monday April 17. Central Illinois. High of 47F

I just hope that these cold days don’t stop the promise of apples in the trees. They are all blossom. .

It’s cold. The house is cold. It’s cold outside. Cold inside. I am not turning heating on for this short shift of weather. Though I see in the forecast that this will repeat itself next weekend. Taking us right to the last frost date for this area. April 16 – 30.

There are some farmers out planting but our farmers don’t begin planting the organic corn until after the 10th of May. By then the ground should be nicely warmed up. Plus we don’t want organic corn tassling at the same time as the GM crops.

Found this (below) in a facebook memory the other day. Seven years ago!! Oh My.

Our Sheila. Well, the caption says Sheila but I think this may be Poppy. Sheilas scar was on her left I think but still. Poppy’s ears flopped forward like that.

Large mature red Hereford Sow with Blond haired woman farmer. The hog comes up to her waist.

Have a lovely day


PS My next story goes up on SubStack this afternoon. And every Monday going forward. I hope you can subscribe from this link – otherwise I will leave the link at the bottom of tomorrows post. Love to see you over there, if you can. Hugs.

50 Comments on “If my Words are Not Read, did I Write them At All?

  1. I just love your blog! The photos and your words are wonderful! And Wai is so adorable! You are blessed to be where you are!

  2. For today’s blog, I’m just going to comment on two photos’ details (while I consider all the rest you’ve written & wish you successful endeavors). Your great snapshot of an eager Wai makes me think that I can’t remember ever noticing Wai’s dainty white socks before. No wonder with all he’s been through he is a serious minded pig. Not many frivolities in his earlier days. And, there’s Ton with his customary stick to show you & Sheila or Poppy. Does he still carry sticks here & there & everywhere or has he put down such puppish things?

  3. I love reading your words. I your stories and your wisdom .) I often write just because I love to write

    • It is interesting how we have that deep-seated desire to write whereas it is only comparatively recently that just anyone could write and indeed that women are now encouraged to write. There is talk of course of Chat GPT taking over writing but I am not sure. I think that we will always write.

    • Yes! Absolutely subscribe for free. Thank you! It is a platform that is set up for writers. Just ignore their gentle prodding to pay for a subscription-

  4. Wai really does look like he’d steal the food if you didn’t feed him!
    My rosemary has withstood drought and many snows, but several sages have died in between. This winter the rosemary has been in bloom since November and still has flowers today.
    I’m a bit synical about SubStack – I suspect they will make money while writers make nothing. I’m also concerned that your stories will be stolen. IMHO the best option is to send short stories to a publication (New Yorker, etc.) or a collection of them to agents.

    • These are all good concerns. SubStack takes 10% of what we make so there is that. I had never thought of them being stolen but then people can steal anything from here too – or from an online magazine – there is no way to stop that. I started sending work to a few online magazines but never heard anything – and it is so miserable to just never hear a thing. Not even a no thank you. I am sure they get much better writers than me writing in. It is a conundrum and speaks to not being read at all. If I continue to send stuff in and waiting and waiting no-one ever reads my stories I will be dead before I get any feedback at all!

      But you are absolutely right on all counts.

      Though if anyone knows of any agents that will take a nobody I would love to chat.

      • The world is more predatory than ever relative to copying, because it’s so easy. I am bothered that more people will copy you than call you, if you put your stories on the web …and you have some very good stories!

        • Totally get what you are saying – nothing I put on Substack will be particularly good but just imagine getting paid to write for real. Like a book deal! Do t gosh even exist anymore? We can only dream now. Of agents and publishers. I think AI will take a dreadful toll on the business.

          • There’s a dreadful amount of drivel being, filmed, recorded and published these days and it’s getting worse! You have something special and I’d hate to see someone steal it! AI will only continue with the mediocre dross – it doesn’t have a unique angle or view. The worst thing that ever happend to Hollywood was the bean counters telling the studios that their biggest asset was in what they alreaday owned – which has resulted in endless part twos, threes, ad infinitum and nothing remotely new!
            I have a unique story with a twist and I will not be putting it on the internet or telling anyone, other than at a professional pitch 😉

            • I am sure you are a good writer, so I opened your site; wonderful visuals. But I haven’t a shred of goth or want meat anymore and other things; i am frail and old. I do believe I would love to see you publish and prosper. That’s a good word for we writers. Imagine that. Prospering, but since you are on this site, you must be wonderful. Sorry for my cringey eating ways. Best of Luck.

            • I hate the drivel. I cannot sit still for any of it: That is so exciting! That you have a powerful story up your sleeve. How do you go about pitching it to someone?

  5. Celi, as you write your weekly stories you might think about how they might fit into a memoir sometime in the future! 😉 Yes, I know I have mentioned you writing a memoir before. I think it would be fascinating!

  6. Substack looks like a good place to collect your thoughts.
    As to the midwest weather, your observation described it well. “The warm snap is over. Cold snap coming up. Then warm snap then cold snap again.” This is a battleground for air masses.

  7. I’ll be interested to follow your journey on Substack. My blog has morphed several times from recipes and paintings to gardening to personal stories (and lately nothing). I write and also teach Natalie Goldberg’s writing practice after twenty-three years of study with her (If you can’t place the name, she’s best known for Writing Down the Bones, although she’s written many, many more books. No short stories though. Yet). I adore reading long novels.

    • You have studied writing so fully! I am afraid I just write then look back and see if it makes sense! How I wish I had studied the art of words when I was younger. What are you reading lately?

      • i taught the courage to write for years, influenced verty much by Jack Grapes, the pied piper of writers; and Oakley Hall, founder of writing colony , and i have 2 books but can’t do it all

      • The last thing I read that I loved was Claire Keegan’s novella, “Small Things Like These.” If you like her writing, she has a couple of books of short stories as well. I’ll let you know when I find my next brilliant read.

  8. i am still having problems reading your words because they are not dark enough for us older ppl. please write in bold black. ty

  9. Your title reminds me of “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
    Dear old grumpy Wai😍

  10. i have been felled, split, splashed against technical walls, two blogs devolved and so it goes; but i am writing; and i think your site and you are totally awesome; may have to come back to wordpress. but i am a dolt. it is generational response; at 84 technical stuff is very difficult, and i type quickly and write well; never thought i’d get to say that; am working on nonfiction, last hurrah, stuff; am writing well, happily and purposefully. hugs to you all

      • my view of faith; which is we are one, and service to others and justice, etc. me have entered a new millenium and we can choose between absolute unity ,liberty or unity, i.e., oneness of humankind; service is our total response to socoiety and looking upon a great broadness; this is dashed out; i know you are not interested in religion; but the Baha’i Faith is not one of ritual it is the absolute right to investigate this faith for yourself; we share; i just want everyone to be the best human they can be; my solution or path is to stand up for justice, to have racism eradicated; it will take a long time, to live my life for the betterment of human kind; i put my money where my mouth is; and racial injustice and society’s ills and lack of unity and cognitive thinking pull the writer out in me; that said i write personally and humorously but i do not lecture. It’s all a process. hugs i can put you on my private mailing list if you wish, only if you wish dear awesome lady

  11. It’s worth giving something a go… to make a start, to exercise (or exorcise) the urge, and carry on from there. Looking forward to reading hyour stories on Substack.

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