This past week has been full of excitement for me as a writer. I am trying much harder to be seen as a professional … I’ve even ordered some absolutely delicious business cards (hopefully to arrive next week). They are half-size business cards made to look like tiny notebooks on one side,but they are slightly thicker on a superior grade of cardboard. There is an image of a fountain pen under my name, with ‘Writer’ underneath that and then my contact details. You know I’m getting serious when I’m spending money.
For example, last weekend, I attended a Literary Speed Dating Even held by the Society of Australian Authors with the assistance of the Queensland Writers Centre. Sixty fellow writers and illustrators attended this event, where we had the opportunity to make a three minute pitch to agents and publishers. You had to purchase your place. I did a lot of research before I went, so that I knew who I wanted to approach, what they were looking for, and have a plan B ready for rejection.
I was so nervous on the day, it was a wonder I wasn’t walking ankle-deep in kittens around my house. However, my preparations held me in good stead. I have three positive responses, and two negative ones, which puts me on the path of my goal to collect one hundred rejections this year. I was exceedingly pleased with myself, simply for going, because every event like this increases your confidence.
I am now considering doing the pitching course given by QWC. Pitching is a skill that need polishing.
On Tuesday (yesterday), I attended the inaugural meeting of the Springfield Writers Group, to be held at Bookface, Orion Springfield Central, which is my local bookshop, on a fortnightly basis. This will be my third writing group, including the Australian Writers Marketplace Writing Race held weekly on Facebook, and the monthly meeting of the Scribblers – also help in the Orion Centre. The support you can find within a writing group is invaluable for the professional writer; you re talking with people who know exactly your problems and can really appreciate your successes.
On Tuesday night (last night), I went with a group of women from the new writing group – including the manager of Bookface Orion, to see Liane Moriarty be interviewed by Frances Whiting. Now, to be truthful, last week I had just read an article about Liane, so I was quietly excited to see her in the flesh. The event was held in the Wynnum Library, on the opposite side of Brisbane, and they should be congratulated on the running of the event
She spoke about her process, and like every other writer I know I am fascinated by the process. She is part planner and part pantzer, and her inspiration often catches her by surprise when she is reading articles. If something is still haunting her weeks later, she figures it will interest other people. I found her an engaging speaker, and it helped that Whiting is a fan of Liane Moriarty’s work, because she asked interesting questions rather than standard ones.
Not every week is nearly as exciting as this one has been. I’ve made new friends, actually met people I’ve only ever seen online, and I have to send stuff off to agents and publishers. What I’ve found is that the more you put into your writing life, the more you get out of it. The Writing Life isn’t a sinkhole into which your hopes and dreams disappear. With luck, this is just a sign that my actual writing career is picking up speed.