Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Signed, sealed, delivered

I've sent a short story to a couple of competitions, yay! I've filled out the forms, written the cheques, printed the story double spaced, size 12 and stapled the left hand corner as directed. They should get there on time (I sent one way too late a week ago).

Surely that already puts me in the pile, right?

But, which pile?

Monday, 28 March 2011

Spread the Word, like Irish butter on your toast

So I went to Spread the Word's workshop on Saturday 26th March and it was very good.

Direct Action: Reaching New Audiences. A good, catchy title, I thought, and it bought me straight away. Or I bought it, and it wasn't that cheap. I don't know if I learned how to reach new audiences, but I did meet fellow writers, feel vaguely like a writer, even if it was from 9.30 to 5.30, and, oh yes, gaming! Yes, not exactly my cup of tea, either, but it was... interesting. If I learned anything, it's that gaming is certainly going well for Naomi Alderman, author of award-winning novel 'Disobedience', and that it is definitely her cup of chow.

Joe Dunthorne joined us for a performance at lunch, reading extracts from his novel 'Submarine', now out in cinemas, and his new novel. He was brilliant; not only were his pieces and poetry fantastic, but he was patient as the latecomers straggled in, and one lady put her red high heel through the floorboard.

The main thing I came away with at the end of the day (apart from leaflets and a couple of email addresses) was that writing doesn't have to be about holing yourself up in the back room of your house (or your Dad's house, as is my case). What they were telling us was that you actually can get out there, collaborate with people, DO things. Read at open mics, go to events, meet people with whom you have something in common, even if it is that, yes, I just want to be read, too.

It briefly closed the gap between me, all on my own, and everyone else... which was nice. Now I just have to try that list of things outside the walls of this nice, pink, back room.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Getting a book published: Checklist

Novel pitch. Check.

Cover letter. Check.

Synopsis. Check.

First 3 Chapters. Check.

The rest of the novel... erm, working on that.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Baby steps

I'm trying to write a book. I write every day. Am I a writer? I want to be one, I want people to read me, but maybe I'm already there.

What actually makes you a writer, what gives you that title... the confidence, the authority, to call yourself the word with the big W. People keep the books they've written in the drawer of their bedside cabinet, and I never understood why. But maybe that is their dream come true, maybe they don't need to be read by the mass audience. I don't know if I see the point in writing something, in having something to say, if you don't want to share it with people. My problem is that I do; have something to say; want to share it...

The thing is, the road seems so long to get the thing you want to say written down, printed, and then read. I guess I just have to keep on walking.

You've got to make it happen

Oasis, on the radio, telling me over and over again...