I had my arse kicked last night. By myself. I am very flexible.
I have let nearly a year slip by without updating this blog. For shame. I am looking in the mirror and quietly judging myself. I never realised how scary I look when I am angry. But last night I went to a fabulous presentation at Sutherland Shire Library which has given me cause to put fingers to keyboard and reinstate some long overdue blogging. A big thank you to Walter Mason on his intro to publishing lecture that stressed (amongst other valuable titbits) the importance of having an online presence. And so here I am again.
Frustrating as it might seem, the literary landscape demands so much more from aspiring novelists than a read-worthy manuscript. Building online networks are just as important as building networks in real life, and it is now expected that authors will be proactive in this space. I reluctantly dipped my toe earlier this year and set up a public Instagram account as my writerly self, and found the experience surprisingly pleasant. There is a not-so-secret community of writers with their #amwriting and #writersofinstagram hashtags that I have discovered to be delightfully supportive. While their end game is of course to raise their own public profiles, and increase likes and follows, there is a real sense that they are likewise looking to connect with other writers in what is an otherwise lonely business.
It has been a big year for moving things forward with my novel, and although much delayed, I am creeping closer to the end of my first draft. Yes, my FIRST draft. There will be more. Many, many, many more. But I am close enough now to be thinking about what happens next, and to be frank, it is a little scary. While the only words I want to be typing are the ones that fill the scenes in my novel, the realist in me knows that I have to put on my big girl pants and embrace all aspects of the literary scene, including the online space.
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