Friday, 24 July 2015
Perhaps this is a tad pretentious of me, but hey, it might be a bit of fun after having read dozens of 'where I write,' columns in the Writers' Forum magazine, who follow authors such as short story writer Steve Beresford, crime writer Bill Kitson and columnist and non-fiction writer Penny Legg just to name a few.
So firstly I don't have the luxury of Bill Kitson's, where I get to write from locations across the Mediterranean, soaking in bayside views from islands across Greece; but then again I'm not a famous novelist either.
While most admit to writing from locations such as the kitchen, dining room, coffee shops, sunrooms and under umbrella's on patio's (not forgetting luxurious island locations), they all still seem to have a dedicated office where they can retreat to perform their writing when they need to.
I too have tried writing from many locations much of which is already listed, and in agreement some locations work better than others depending on the day, your mood and time permitting.
My Home office
Yer I know, it's not very inspiring, but then again should it be? Isn't it a good thing to have office spaces that can't detract us writer's from our train of thought; that doesn't distract us with interesting items placed around us?
Just outside beyond the tiniest frosted glass window that sits to the left of my office, is a rural setting that whether in winter or summer is filled with inspiration. Teaming rain fills the house with a deafening roar upon the tin roof in winter, while families of Rosella's and Honey-eaters fight over lunch, hopping from shed roofs to the bare branches of the Mt Fugi, all invisible from my work station.
In winter I write better from places that provide warmth and that's definitely not my office. Most of the time I'll sit up at the kitchen bench under the heater with my laptop. Other times when I don't want any distractions such as phone calls, pantry's and fridges, housework, dishes, washing, walking the dog and thinking about preparing dinner or cooking muffins or cup-cakes for tomorrow's school lunches, I'll go to the local library.
Like Steve Beresford I can't write if there is music, TV noise or conversation around me; it just completely destroys any concentration I might have.
My Whiteboard / noticeboard
Here I keep track of all writing commitments like competition deadlines, anthologies and opportunities among a few other things like a portrait of myself and my daughter, a palmistry guide; another past-time of mine, and my horoscope.
While most of the author's interviewed in Writers'Forum are full-time writers, writing anything from six to fifteen hours a day, I scramble to find a few precious uninterrupted hours a week to produce my work, but all-in-all it's enlightening to know that most of us writers whether well-published or not, all work much the same; some days we will produce great work while others are merely used as stepping stones for future works and there's nothing wrong with that.
Monday, 6 July 2015
I know, it sounds ludicrous doesn't it? But hey, it sells, trust me, read on.
Today I was killing time so speak in Collins Booksellers. It was one of very few occasions that I have gone into a book store without an agenda. I had time to mull over the genres, places I would less frequently explore, and what happened next was like stumbling over a lost fortune.
Lingering on lower shelves, places not met with the occasional eye as those placed above the mid-drift, were copies such as Miles Franklin's My Brilliant Career/My Career Goes Bung and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally, which I read in high school.
When to Rob a Bank by co-authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, that caught my undivided attention. Why, I'm not completely sure? I'm not an economist, or know about economics by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, when I got home I googled the definition 'Economics' just to make sure I was on the right page and everything.
No doubt it was the title that intrigued me, and with further investigation I found the co-authors were bloggers like myself - okay - they're better bloggers - that's a given. These guys have blogged over a decade with more than 8,000 blog posts - what an effort. They built their blog following the publication of their first book Freakonomics which by the way sold more than 7 million copies, hence they have never looked back.
It would be an understatement to say these two guys have a passion for what they do. Their successes have kept them blogging with their own admission,
...there wasn't any evidence the blog helped sell more copies of our books. In fact it may have cannibalized sales, since every day we were giving away our writing.
I can't wait to read past the intro of What Do Blogs and Bottled Water Have in Common?
I'm un-willing to do a spoiler alert on this one; you'll just have to read the book like myself to find out the answer.
And if I have learned one lesson today, then I've learned several. Blog well, not just good content, but relevant content; great content). Blog like there's no tomorrow, be savvy, be unpredictable, and you too might very well publish your own book one day from blog posts.