It’s been a hectic year for me so far. I’ve organised and run a readathon, appeared at five writers festivals (Emerging Writers Festival, Willy Lit Fest, Bendigo Writers Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival and Write around the Murray), launched two books, read at a fundraiser for Visible Ink and done a bunch of interviews. It’s all good stuff – getting out there, talking about books and ideas, meeting cool people, learning how to mingle and be spontaneous and talk confidently. Even selling a book or two. All of that matters. But when I look at what I’ve written this year, there’s not a great deal going on.
I wrote an article about why commemoration of Anzac Day gets my goat for Overland. I wrote a brief essay/rant, ‘A letter to the west‘, for my performance at Emerging Writers Festival. And I wrote a piece I’m very proud of – the speech Bob Brown will give on the last day of human civilisation – for a Patrick Allington/Seizure Online project called Rhetoric. I’ve also written one short story which I’m still trying to make utterly perfect.
Novel writing? No. None.
Until yesterday, that is. Yesterday I started again. This morning, before breakfast, I did a little bit more. And I reckon I felt cheerier on that train ride into work today than I’ve felt in months. Five hundred quick words of writing is, for me, so much more satisfying than a book launch. Which is ridiculous.
How about you, fellow writers? Would you rather write, or talk about the things you’ve already written? Edit, or spout some ideas on stage? And is there a way to get the perfect mix?
[Postscript – I just realised I’m not quite done: I’ll be on Writers Bloc bookclub with Geoff Orton next week talking about Formaldehyde, but there’s a good chance I’ll do it from the couch in my pyjamas.]
[Post-postscript (Nov 23) – the photo on this post is from an ABC Radio event held at WAM in Albury: ‘Now Hear This’, where poor unfortunates like myself told a story from their life without notes. It was broadcast last weekend, so if you’d like to hear it, listen here.]