Yesterday was the independent publisher's event that I'd signed up for. It was strange being out all day without the children in tow, and the two year old went and developed a fever the night before, so I felt guilty all day, in bursts.
It had been a little misadvertised, as it turned out to be as much a reader's day as a writer's day, but that didn't mar my enjoyment, since I'm a reader, too! I felt a bit starstruck, listening to Berlie Doherty talking about her latest offering. Also got to hear Trilby Kent read some of Smoke Portrait, too. She looked, at first glance, like a teenager, but she was so articulate - intelligence in every uttering! - and so well travelled and confident. I've added her book to my list of books to read.
Age was a bit of a theme for me. I was startled by the overwhelming number of people attending the event who were female, and of retirement age. I sat behind a row of content ladies who had to fiddle almost constantly with their hearing aids to hear anything. It was almost funny seeing them all recoil in horror when the discussion came around, briefly but controversially, to the importance of social media in self-promotion for writers. It made me sad, too. Of course, you can't see inside these lovely ladies' minds. I'm assuming a lot when I say, perhaps they've missed the boat. But I was glad that I'm doing this now, and not waiting till I have time. I'll still enjoy it as much when I'm sixty, seventy or eighty, I'm sure. But it's no good waiting for your dreams to come to you; I'm rolling up my sleeves and pursuing mine.
The day did what I wanted on the whole. It made me feel like a seriously aspiring writer. I met like-minded people. (Funny, how many wannabe writers are clearly uncomfortable in social situations). I got to listen to some inspirational stories about the journeys some published writers have taken. I learnt a lot about the way independent presses work, and the pros and cons regarding independent publishers and the large commercial publishers (some of which was daunting learning). I came home with three new books to read, and one of them was free (always a major bonus). I have some pencilled notes on the back of a scrap of paper of recommended websites, and a publisher who will be looking for short story submissions in the next few months. I found out about a very local creative writing workshop that is starting up next month (sadly, while I'm on holiday with the in-laws, but there are other dates).
I think that's what you call a successful day. Now if the two year old can just recover, I'm ready to leap into a new week, keyboard at the ready...