The public face of writing
July 13th, 2014
An early start this morning, as I’m off to teach a workshop on ‘The public face of writing’. There was a time when authors sat at home and wrote, and when they finished their manuscript they sent it off to the publisher, and some time later the publisher sent them a royalty cheque. Oh, maybe they did an occasional reading, but nothing like what is expected these days.
And that’s a problem for many authors, because we tend to be a quiet breed. Not all of us, of course, but I’d guess that there are more introverts among the writer population than in the general population. A lot of us actually like sitting at home alone, with our stories running through our heads.
For me, it’s a bit of a mix. I love the solitude – just me, Harry and the chooks for days at a time – and find it hard to write without it. But at the same time it’s fun to do the occasional concert or school visit, just to remind myself that there are other humans in the world. 🙂 And when it comes to public speaking, I have the perfect background – as a teacher and an actor. I remember when I was at uni, I was absolutely terrified of speaking in public – even in something not terribly public like a tutorial, my hands and my voice would tremble.
Ha! Three years of teaching knocked that out of me very effectively. And later, drama school and acting taught me all sorts of interesting skills that have come in handy. Hence today’s workshop. It’s the first time I’ve taught this topic, so have no idea how it will go.
The chooks have had an exciting week. Up until three days ago, they’ve been using two different nests, mainly because Floss is a contrary sort of bird and doesn’t like laying in the nest I provided. And Clara is heavily under Floss’s influence, so she followed along to the new nest which was in the middle of a bush (to make it harder for me to pinch their eggs). Dolly – loyal sensible Dolly – continues to lay in the original nest. Anyway, a few days ago, something attacked Clara and ate her egg. A cat? A rat? She was in an awful bother, and no wonder. The next night, the fake plastic egg disappeared too. Hopefully whoever pinched it will conclude that all future eggs will also be plastic and it’s not worth going after them. Meanwhile Clara has returned to the original nest.
Now off to make my porridge!