Thursday, 28 August 2014

#mwf14 Blog-to-book Update 2

In times of desperation, I’ve found myself in situations that on reflection seem too far fetched to have happened to the soon to be self-published blogger you see before you.

Scared, and running down the footpath with someone else’s house key in my mouth, desperate to get out of clear sight, I wondered what had possessed me to wear high heeled boots. The key in my mouth for safe keeping was an obvious measure to take, just as calling for a police escort had been the only solution several hours earlier that day.

I could hear others were being questioned while I'd stood safely surrounded. "Are they in a relationship?"

“N-oo…..they--re no-t….”

Beside me, all thumbs, the tallest police man flipped open his pad while he checked his two-way.

"Do you know if there are any weapons here?"

"No. Not inside. Um, actually, maybe. In the bathroom. Or…the ceiling."

Everything stopped. We all looked up in silence. I shuffled a little closer under the overhang of his chin.

Within seconds we were on the move. A foursome of police on full alert is unlike any other escort. Double stepping for each of theirs and following the expanse of shoulders that were blocking my view, all save for glimpses of startled faces, I completed my fastest checkout ever.
After studying over a hundred thousand words on my blog, I can see it was only revealing a thin slice of life, though it has taken up much of mine for two years.

Now two years into my social media experiment - and the unfiltered platform it provides for an alternative view not dominated by self-seeking soldiers of fortune, I’ll be sure to fill in some more of the gaps in my Blurb blog-to-book.
  • I’ve often wondered who’s job it is to clear up the obvious distortions around the Northern Territory Intervention.
  • And is there a fail safe remedy for the mange infection of racism.
  • Is there likely to be maturity in the Indigenous community around feminism or will violence experienced by the other sisters (Indigenous women) continue to be too awkward a conversation?
  • And how is Indigenous prosperity possible, when the only popular candidates for leadership would be unable to realistically find their way through the complex issues, and that they're likely to achieve the most approval when they have never been tested.
  •  And why is it easier to join them in ignorance rather than challenge oppressive regimes? 
  • And how about the shameful abusers, fooled into being fit to burst over gossip? 
  • And pointing out that there has been lessons learned from those who prefer race hate speech and smears - and not in a good way.

There is much more I’d like to talk about.
  • How I approach twitter fiction.
  • Self promotion and marketing on a shoestring.
  • How it is, that when you say you have done everything to find an audience, you most likely missed a few strategies. 

And now you will understand why my Blurb blog to book word count plays out like an accordion.

They say a writer will spend 70% of their time on the business that makes it possible that the remaining 30% of their time can be spent writing.

My blog is the café that never closes. It is the repository of my ambitions, deeply disguised. It’s my laboratory and where you’ll find me.

Reflecting on two years of blogging, Twitter and writing commissions, I can see the more I wrote, the more opportunities came my way.

In order to write, puts me in need of other work, that pays for me to live, 
so that I can write.

Self promotion, tinkering with my blog, pulling tweetyarns out of thin air and working out how to maximise returns on social media are the life support for my writing. The more I pushed myself into pitching and submissions, the bigger the deadlines. And the writing just gets harder every time. 

And it will always come back to the writing.
How’s the writing going?  
Oh, fine. (It bleeds.)
I wrote so much in the past year, out of necessity I taught myself how to use a mouse with my left hand, as a spare for when I need it.

I never seem to have enough time to write. But I can’t stop chasing words. 
Words are the bait and the catch.

I’m 90% committed to the blog material I’ve pulled out for my blog book. 

My blog book formula involves breaking my blog down – into trends, traffic and themes – and then organizing these into a narrative, and cue cards have been the easiest means of achieving order. The blog book challenge has gotten me rethinking my approach to blogging, and I'm excited about what the blog will contain in the future (for Volume 2 down the track, perhaps).

Nine days into the 11 day #mwf14 Blurb challenge of transforming my blog in to a book – in between logistics for Melbourne and locking in a script pitch - I took a break and came across an old interview with Clive James. Purely by chance, my eye caught his account on writing.

"… I hit the chair running about 10 years ago, and ever since I have rarely had a moment even to lean back in it. I sit hunched forward, racing always against time. So the air of casual ease that the room conveys is entirely an illusion."
 More from Clive James in his own words [2009] here 
I think endless tight deadlines is my lot, but I’m satisfied that to-date, I’ve had ideas that are more pressing to write about than merely those presented by being on the run with a key in my mouth.


From the Melbourne Writers Festival Blurb Blog to book challenge blog ...
We will check back with Karys, Siv and Harry throughout the Festival to see how they’re going, and if you want to meet them to chat about their publishing journey, you can:
Blurb in the Festival Club, Saturday 30 August, 5.30pm, in the Festival Club at Optic, Fed Square.


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