I would like to add my voice to Paul’s in welcoming you to our site. My writing of naturist fiction grew out of my passion for writing, a passion based on need and perhaps even compulsion. Perhaps it has to do with my first experiences with social and private nudity as an adolescent being timed with my first attempts at writing in the nineteen sixties. Regardless of how the two got mixed up together at the beginning of my writing life, I found myself spending the next few decades doing anything and everything but writing or being nude – well at least not deliberately.
It was the gift of a midlife crisis that prodded me to begin again to express what was laying deep within me, stuff hidden only in dreams. What emerged through the process of dealing with that midlife crisis was an autobiography, at least the first draft that told me there was more. What had been exposed was difficult to confront, so I turned to poetry and photography to express the conflict and pull to nudity in the world, the pull to an inner world which demanded my attention. A year later, I wrote my first naturist novel, A Small Company of Pilgrims.
With the gift of social media, I met other writers of naturist content. I was encouraged by the Naked Crow series written by Paul which “fit” with my understandings of the imaginal world of archetypes and First Nations mythology. At about the same time, I connected with Will who had written Co-ed Naked Philosophy, a book that felt more grounded in the human psyche and the modern world. Of course there are other writers of naturist fiction that emerged and added to my acceptance of naturist fiction (and non-fiction) as a legitimate genre.
Meeting face-to-face with Will in Mexico, I knew I had made a friend for life. I had met the man behind the name, and we have both continued to build on the personal and professional friendship. Yes, writing and publishing naturist fiction is a professional act. I have yet to meet face-to-face with Paul though I do hope that this is in the cards for our future. I have tentative plans for another pilgrimage of sorts that will take me through his homeland.
So how are our naturist writings similar and different? I guess, the best answer is that we write about who we are, what we think, what we dream, what we have experienced in both the conscious and unconscious dimensions of our life. As you can probably tell, my writing reflects a psychological worldview, not a cultural worldview. What I write is steeped in a sense of real presence, putting myself and the reader into the head spaces of the characters within the stories. As for my friends, Will and Paul, well they will speak for themselves as they each know best exactly what they are writing, and why they are writing with the voices that have emerged.
As for you, the readers, I encourage you to explore, not only our books, but those of other naturist fiction authors. There is something compelling about laying it all bare, exposing the truths of who we are as humans, complex and complexed beings.
4 thoughts on “The Compulsion and Passion for Laying it All Bare in Words”
Robert, thanks for this wonderful post! It’s terrific to know more about your trajectory of writing about naturism and nudity – your compulsion, as you put it, which I think is an apt word to describe how I feel, too. I appreciate your kind words about our meeting in Mexico – two and a half years ago now – and I hope we can meet again soon! And I also appreciate your point about professionalism, which should not be taken for granted. Excellent piece!
Gosh… I had no idea that my “Naked Crow” books meant something like that to you, Robert. Thank you for this great post. It would be great if we can meet up somewhere in the near future. Maybe we could even get together the three of us. That would be something.
I’ll be writing about what drives me in a few weeks…
I tend not to write “naturist fiction” but rather fiction that has a naturist element in a much larger narrative. Mayhaps I’m trying to suggest something to non-naturists without scaring them off.
OTOH the nonfiction I write about frequently focuses on naturism and my own experiences in it. That stuff is all about expression of naturist ideas.
I’ll be checking out your work, Fred. Thanks for adding your voice into the discussion about naturist fiction.