Here I am again! The original post for this week wasn’t this one, but then a couple of things happened and I wanted to share them with you!
First of all I started my children’s fiction workshop at the Writers Centre here in Dublin. It’s a seven weeks course run by a writer and illustrator of children/teens books, Oisín McGann.
We’re just 6 people and, apart from me and a Swedish lady, the rest of us are Irish. But all ladies! Good for him! The course is amazing, and the teacher is very good. He actually destroyed the idea I’ve always had of the writer. I mean, when you think about a writer, the immediate thought that comes to your mind is a solitary, grumpy hunchback person sitting at his/her desk. Nothing could be more wrong than this or further from the truth. This guy is a performer honestly! If you just happen to pass behind the door I think you’d be sure that on the other side they’re holding a theatre class not a writing one!
But it is actually one of the things he told us immediately: you can forget to just stay at your desk and write, after that you have to go around, read your book and face the public. Wow that was exactly the explanation I had given to my colleagues at work: “I have problems with the microphone because I’m panicking….but I’m not worried, I’m a writer so I don’t need it!”…well it seems I was wrong and that I’ll have to face this problem eventually! That’s why I have to learn to sell myself and my writing! What is sure is that I have to work on it!
What I can tell you for sure is that now, considering the reason why I have to defeat my panic at the mike, my determination in doing it will strengthen!
The toughest part in attending this course was writing and reading on the spot, by the way. I’ve already put something online and I gave some of my stuff to some friends of mine to read, but in those cases I wrote the piece, I thought about it and eventually those people corrected the errors I made! Only after that I was able to put my stuff on the web or show it to a bigger audience! But here it’s different! You have ten minutes to create something and bang, you have to read it. I tell you, it’s scary and I’d prefer to sink into the ground and be swallowed by the floor!
But on the other hand I guess it’s a good exercise for me, and I hope that my self confidence will improve a bit after this.
The second thing I mentioned was that it was held at the Writer Centre again last Saturday. I’m talking about the publishing day. It was basically a one day conference. Five people connected with the publishing and writing world spoke one by one and answered to a lot of questions.
I arrived there and I felt a bit lost: people seemed to know each other, at least the majority of them. I looked around to see if at least I could find someone from my course but I didn’t spot anybody or at least I think so! The bad thing in doing the job I do is meeting too many people, and personally I cannot fix people’s faces in my mind so quickly!
Even if I felt lost anyway I didn’t feel the kind of oppression I’ve always felt going to a new place. At the Centre people are nice and welcoming and know perfectly well that a kind smile doesn’t cost a fortune. And it is amazing because this is one of the last things you’d expect from the writing world! Maybe it’s not always and everywhere like this but I guess it is a good start.
I found all the speeches very interesting, full of useful information. There were so many things I didn’t know and for sure there will still be many things I have to learn. But I have to calm down now and proceed one step after another.
The speech that maybe affected me the most was Dermot Bolger’s. He’s a very nice man, the typical mad writer (mad of course in a good way! This is a compliment!) who said that it doesn’t matter if you’ve already published a book or not, if you wrote one you are a writer. It’s weird because I’ve always said to people that I’m an aspiring writer, maybe because I’ve always had the idea that you’re a writer if you get published or when you have arrived! But arrived where exactly!? What I found out the other day was exactly this; you never finish learning, improving and evolving! I daresay I’m just at the very beginning!!! I have lots more to do, BUT I’m a writer!
And I’ll leave you here with this new consciousness!
Talk to you later!