Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Author vs Hermit

For the Publishing Project session yesterday evening our guest speaker was Candy Gourlay.  I wasn't sure what to expect from this talk.  I'm not really interested in children's fiction - but not through some ridiculous elitist viewpoint that somehow children's fiction is less worthy.  I am, in fact, rather intimidated by the idea of writing children's books.  I was nonetheless concerned that I wouldn't get much out of this session if that was her area of expertise.

I am happy to say that my fears were groundless.  Candy gave an informative and entertaining talk, with a lot of focus on marketing and self-promotion.  Her point of view as both a website designer (she was 'webmaster' for the SCBWI) and as an author who has really embraced the idea of self-promotion, made for an interesting combination.  She showed us numerous examples of her websites and blogs, all of them looking so swanky that it made little dinosaur-me despair somewhat.  Writing a blog on this here site is one thing - anything more than that is rather beyond me.

One of the main things I took away from the evening was her belief that authors have to draw attention to themselves.  This thought has been enough to lodge that sickening wad of fear right into my stomach, where it has set up shop and now refuses to leave.

I was rather a freakishly tall child but fortunately slowed down the whole growing thing when I got to my teens.  But certainly habits remain from junior school, one of which is to try and be as small and unnoticeable as possible.  Now I suddenly have to start leaping up and down shouting 'LOOK AT ME!!  LOOK AT ME!!'

Hmm, maybe I don't want to be an author so much after all.  If it weren't for the writing I really don't think I would bother.

There must be some caves around here somewhere.  I think I'd make rather a good hermit.


  1. You and me too. Can't stand the notion of having to do the whole publicity thing. Won't be long till the pension can be opened up... You wanna come and live with me in the log cabin - you at one end, me the other, just writing? Ah bliss! No talking allowed! Except after 4 pm perhaps.

  2. A log cabin sounds lovely! Much more comfortable than a cave anyway...