It’s no secret that writing is often a lonely enterprise, not the most social job in the world or so I’ve been told. Yes, there certainly are times where it is very solitary. However, as someone who is not naturally very social (read introverted homebody) I have found that since beginning to take my writing seriously for the past couple of years, my social interaction has increased not decreased. This was the insight that came to me after doing Margaret Hamilton’s workshop at the SWW (Society of Women’s Writers) on Wednesday. (See more later) You see this was just one of the many writing related ‘events’ which have required me to interact socially, that I have (or will) attended this year. I have presented a judge’s report, attended book launches, visited libraries to speak to librarians, spoken to teachers and writers about my work, attended courses and conferences on my own where I had to speak to strangers or at least people I only know through Facebook. I have also started using Facebook and joined an online critique group and of course write this blog which is slowly building up followers, some of whom even comment. Please feel free to comment on this or any other post on my blog, if you have found your experience to be the same or even radically different, for that matter. In this week alone, I have engaged five of the eight opportunities for socialisation, networking, learning, sharing, being bolstered and of course, feeling anything but alone.
I hadn’t planned on attending Margaret Hamilton’s workshop having been to one at Pinerolo, the writer’s cottage she owns and manages in Blackheath, however, when Susanne Gervay suggested (as only Susanne can) that it would be worth my while because Margaret is, to quote, ‘at the top of her game’ I knew I really had to and I didn’t regret it. Sure, some of what she talked about I’d heard before, but it’s amazing with children’s writing, how there is always something new to learn. One of the thrills for me was to see the manuscript Margaret Wild had sent to Margaret Hamilton all those years ago for her famous Picture Book, The Very Best of Friends. It was plain to see how proud Margaret was to have been the editor and publisher of this book. It was also plain to see her red pen marks throughout the manuscript and imagine the mixture of emotions Margaret Wild must have felt on receiving both the good news that her work would be published and then to see the work that still needed to be done to make it publication ready.
I probably would not have met Susanne Gervay and had the courage to talk to her about my hopes for my work, if it had not been for Eastwood/Hills FAW nor would I have likely befriended Anne Benjamin whose book Saffron and Silk- An Australian in India, is been launched tonight. You see Anne has been my lecturer and my boss, but it was only when I joined the FAW that I found we share this common interest and as mentioned in an earlier blog post about my friend Carolyn Alfonzetti’s upcoming Picture Book launch, it is just so exciting when one of our own achieves such wonderful success. Good luck Anne, I know you’ll be amazing and I hope book sales will be too.
Finally, next week, I’m attending another workshop, this time with Aleesah Darlison. If you’ve read past posts you will know that I have great respect for what Aleesah has achieved mainly because of her incredible resilience and drive. As a result of becoming more social and gaining the confidence to speak up, I now can’t wait for the opportunity to ask as many questions as I can to help me know where to go from here. I know I will learn a lot at this workshop and also can’t wait to tell you all about it in my next post. Not bad for a self-professed hermit-in-the-making.
Till then fellow Children’s Writers and Friends,
Savour the quest,