Purple Party People, Emerging Writers Festival and a filled to the brim day

26 May 2012 / Leave a Comment
I am slowly losing grip of the life I used to have before I became determined a few months ago to try my best to become a proper writer. I began trying to write every day for the Hardie Grant Ampersand Project. Then I started this blog when I tried to give freelance writing and magazine pitches a go (a grand failure). Slowly this blog morphed into being about trying to get my novel published and opportunities out there for writers. And I realised that I want this blog to be for all emerging writers like me - who are suffering from the pain of rejection, but suffer equally from unequivocal hope.

Now I am doing something towards my writing every day. Where before it was like a chore, now it's not a good day if I haven't done something to do with my writing - whether it is updating this blog, reworking a synopsis, writing a review of another writer's story on Authonomy, doing a guest post for another blog, posting some tweets. There is always something to do.

And now I'm working on starting another blog - Purple Party People Melbourne (shame about the Melbourne bit, but Purple Party People was already gone!) It's a blog about great ideas for children's birthday parties around Melbourne. The other night, I had a nightmare that I was writing a blog for Kevin Rudd and I was like 'no way - I can't cope with any more blogs!'

Today, being a Saturday, my family eventually got out of the house at 11am, after we finally found where my toddler had left my husband's keys - in the dolls house. We went to the first venue that I was going to write a review of for Purple Party People - unfortunately that venue is not wanting to advertise themselves as their purpose is really to serve disadvantaged children in their local community. Knock back number one. Lucky I am an out of print writer who is building up some solid rejection coping skills.

Then we went on to Ceres where I took some lovely photos of the kids playing in the adventure habitat playground and had a coffee to ward off my 'I haven't had a coffee by 1pm headache'. I also spoke to the man in the cafe and collected some crucial information for my first Purple Party People post.

Then my husband dropped me outside the Melbourne Town Hall to attend the Trends in publishing session at the Emerging Writers Festival. I looked around at all my fellow comrades and felt proud of what we are all doing. The panelists were all great. There's enough on twitter at #ewf12 if you want to know what was talked about. But the overwhelming feeling that I took away from it all is that it is really hard to break into publishing as an unknown writer, but there are more opportunities than ever for writers to get in perhaps through the back door.

When asked 'How does a new writer get their foot in the door?', Overland editor Jeff Sparrow said the better question is 'What is the door?' Publishing is changing; larger houses are letting go of whole sales teams, agents are becoming unnecessary in Australia, publishers are testing the waters with short form fiction and non-fiction, smaller presses are coming into their own and obviously digital publishing and social media raises a whole lot of new opportunities and challenges. All these changes are making it an interesting time for publishers as well as writers. So we writers, who don't have all the insider knowledge that publishers do, have to try and navigate 'What is the door' that we are trying to get our foot into...

Unfortunately, I had to leave early as by 5.30pm my husband texted me saying the kids were feral and needed their dinner. So he swung by and picked me up and we went for pizza at Papa Gino's on Lygon St.

Anyway, that was my crazy, filled to the brim, day of trying to be a proper writer.


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