Travelling westwards – with Qantas gamely keeping up with the setting sun – gifted me a golden opportunity to get in early with next year’s resolutions and inscribe my writing goals for 2014 on the brilliant horizon pictured above. Red, yellow, blue — our Aussie earth, sun, sky — it’s a bit of dreamtime, isn’t it? And I guess that’s part of what creating is all about?
The brilliantly-lit horizon was a fitting finale to the professional development workshop “Reboot” put on by the Australian Society of Authors where seventeen writers arrived as strangers from all over the country only to leave two days later informed and invigorated with a firm sense of camaraderie and solidarity. I’ve attended my share of seminars, but not one quite like this.
As for the content of the course. Apparently it had taken ASA Executive Director Angelo Loukakis and Laurine Croasdale a year to develop – and from the buzz in the room it was not difficult to tell it had paid off. Designed to reboot or support authors in the challenging environment in which we find ourselves – the topics focussed on the current publishing landscape, traditional publishing vs self-publishing, e-books, income streams, distribution and goal-setting. Presenters were pertinent, entertaining and at times, frankly funny: Angelo Loukakis, journalist and writer Stephen Lewis, Booktopia’s CEO Tony Nash and marketing manager John Purdell, ASA’s policy manager Lucie Stevens with terrific advice on contracts et al, ‘thinklearnsucceed’ coach Eleanor Shakiba. A stimulating seminar. Keep ’em coming ASA. If you’re not yet a member of ASA, you can check them out on www.asauthors.org.
Historical novelist Steve Rossiter recently re-posted an interesting blog from fellow historian Michael White on creating scene-by-scene outlines. Because Michael’s process is so radically different from my own, I thought it would be useful to flag. The blog is rather too long repeat here, but definitely worthwhile reading at http://writinghistoricalnovels.com/2013/11/17/creating-scene-by-scene-outlines-for-historical-novels-by-michael-white/ .
Of the social media outlets, the one proving most useful from a writing perspective is Linked In where I’m finding interesting and stimulating forums and like-minded contacts starting to develop.
Once again it’s not long to go to Christmas and I hope you have a good one. For this year ahead of us, I wish you all limitless writing horizons. As my inspirational honours supervisor Terri-ann White said to me years ago – write your heart out, just write.