Wednesday, January 09, 2013

It's Fun To Talk To The WCYR

Young man, there's no need to feel down!
I said - young man, pick yourself off the ground
I said - young man, 'cause you're in a new town
There's no need to be unhappy . . . 

Yeah, I know, the title of this blog post doesn't roll off the tongue the way that Y.M.C.A. by The Village People does, but it just came to me in the way that unexpected lyrical earworms hit you.

I've been putting together the content for what I'll be talking to the good folks at the WCYR (Writers Community of York Region) about this coming Sunday, Jan 13th, and I realized just how much of a pleasure it is when my life-long passion (writing) collides so beautifully with the job that keeps a roof over my head and food on the table.

I was asked to come chat with the group after one of them had seen me speak last May at the Ontario Writer's Conference alongside Cynthia Good regarding storytelling in a digital age. (Here's a video of my talk)

OWC May 2012 - Talking on "Storytelling 360°: Storytelling in a Digital Age"
It was a really fun talk, because I was there as an author, but I was also there as a representative from Kobo -- and I, of course, couldn't help wearing my role as a bookseller.

In any case, here's an overview of the talk I'll be giving this Sunday.

Writers have never had more opportunities in front of them. This is at once exciting and overwhelming. What path to take? What roads to travel down? How does a writer make sense of the different options and opportunities available to them in both print and digital?

Navigating the multidimensional aspects of being a writer today takes an understanding of the industry from top to bottom and the ability to cut through a lot of noise. From SASE to ePub, from physical author events to the virtual aspect of social marketing, from the basics of the business of writing to not being drowned in the slush pile which has migrated from the a publisher’s back room to an online catalog near you, journey through one writer’s experiences operating in virtually every aspect of this dynamic and ever-changing industry.

Yes, I'm there as a writer, and to talk about my own experiences in traditional publishing and self-publishing (and perhaps even sell some copies of my books via the awesome Blue Heron Books who will be on site not only with some of my books, but some great books on writing) - but I will also be putting my Kobo's Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations hat on, to share tips and insights for authors who are beginning to become involved in various self-publishing pursuits.

I will, naturally, demonstrate a positive bias towards Kobo and the awesome Kobo Writing Life platform for self-published authors and small publishers (With a darned cool blog filled with author profiles, articles and tips on the craft and business of writing), but I'm also going to be open and clear on the importance for authors of being available on any platform.

In any case, this Sunday will be yet another one of those days in which I'm working, yet I'm not working, in which I'm required to be there, and yet delighted and eager to be there.

Seth Godin, in his wonderful wisdom had written: "Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from."  

I always smile when I read or hear those words, because while I do enjoying relaxing and "vacationing" I very rarely feel the need to "escape" from this incredible life I have. On the contrary, I enjoy embracing it and I consider myself very fortunate that I can work in a role that I am passionate about and believe in . . .

. . . and when it becomes difficult to determine when I am working and when I am just living the life I want, it feels like a really, really good thing.

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