When I booked my place at the Clunes Booktown Festival, a pocket full of dreams came with me. Crossing uncharted waters, I ventured into the unknown hoping to sell the left over hard copies of Schicksal, my first novel.
I felt a sense of foreboding mixed with excitement. This strange mix of emotions often dawns when a breakthrough is in the wind. The déjà vu unsettled me but I try to stay calm, philosophical and above all open.
Fear kicks in. It always does.
Sales, a talent I am still in the process of cultivating, daunts me. Writing from the heart, the fact that not everyone is as in love with my story as I am, places my logical mind and emotional nature in the ring together. I buy into the tussle.
Persevering and am rewarded with some quality conversations and a smattering of sales.
I meet other authors. Over dinner I sit next to Louse Crossley and we converse about our passion, writing. Our paths cross and we find that we have quite a bit in common. The next day I had the great pleasure of talking to Peter Yeldham who sits across the room from me a guest speaker at the festival and guest of For Pity sake Publishing
A gentle man with an impressive repertoire of screen writing and books. I can’t believe my good fortune. It flicked a switch inside when Peter told me that he didn’t begin to write books until later in his career. It gave me hope.
From him I learnt three things:
- Get the beginning right, keep reworking it until it is perfect
- R & R, read and rework the manuscript over and over
- accept that rejection happens and forge on
I sought some female writers too and found Cate Kennedy whose enthusiasm inspired me. Listening to her speak, I shifted gear, resonating with her perspective. She followed her conviction but I had not. It was a moment of liberation and the shackles fell away.
Leah Kaminsky in her talk shared her struggle with time and working with imaginings and reality. I understood, my second novel, 24″ Waste, still in manuscript status challenges my both my patience and my intellect as I try to transcend time, trauma and define reality.
The weekend though not successful in the conventional sense ended my internal struggle. Once before I had decided to write and I published Schicksal but then I returned to work and my focus wavered. In the past year I have grown and now shall don the authors jacket I bought almost two years ago.
I am ready. Please share your pivotal moment; it might help someone regain their focus.