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There’s More To Being An Author Than Just Writing

October 21st, 2016

kitty-cat-kitten-pet-45201-medium-blogFirst thanks to Sophia for last week’s blog. I found her list of online tools fascinating, but confess to being a bit worried by Write or Die. When I came to have a closer look, however, it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. They’ve even introduced a ‘Reward Mode’. A picture of a cuddly kitten? Images of the designer shoes you’re lusting after? Mug-shot of your favourite author?  You choose if you hit your word target. That sounds decidedly less scary than the ‘consequenses’  which they originally threatened if you dared to procrastinate!

This week I’m going to revisit a subject I’ve mentioned before – literary festivals. According to a London Book Fair report there are now more than 340 of them held each year in Britain and Ireland alone. It makes you wonder whether some authors are now spending longer attending literary festivals and beavering away on social media to drum up sales than they are on their writing. If you’re considering giving up the day job to become a full time writer it might be worth considering all the other ‘obligations’ that you’ll need to fulfil. With publishers’ promotional budgets being slashed there’s definitely more required of an author than just being able to turn a good phrase.

It’s that time of year again when the Man Booker shortlist has already appeared and the winner is due to be announced next week. I always enjoy reading the shortlisted entries to see if I feel they deserve the recognition – or whether they only appeal to a literary elite.

The Chair of Judges, Dr Amanda Foreman, had this to say about the six finalists:

‘The Man Booker Prize subjects novels to a level of scrutiny that few books can survive. In re-reading our incredibly diverse and challenging longlist, it was both agonizing and exhilarating to be confronted by the sheer power of the writing. As a group we were excited by the willingness of so many authors to take risks with language and form. The final six reflect the centrality of the novel in modern culture – in its ability to champion the unconventional, to explore the unfamiliar, and to tackle difficult subjects.’

I definitely agree with her – that’s exactly what a novel should be about. But let’s not forget that the majority of the reading public want something more akin to a comfortable pair of slippers – a good romance, a weepy, a  gripping thriller, a hero in breeches with a scythe (sorry, off at a tangent there). And there’s nothing wrong with that! There are times when you want to stretch your mind, and there are others when you just want to relax with the literary equivalent of a cup of coffee and a packet of decent biscuits.

Before I leave you, there are two things I want to remind you about. The first is that we have a £25 discount on our Fiction Writing Course until 30th October. If I’ve not put you off by telling you how much public speaking, handshaking and social media interaction modern authors are expected to undertake, it’s a great course can really give your writing career a boost.

And finally, don’t forget our Flash Fiction Competition. We’re accepting entries until 30th November and there are both cash prizes and Writers Bureau courses to be won.

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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