Karen Tyrrell Write and Publish a Memoir

Originally posted on Following the Crow Song:

Write & Publish a Memoir Workshop

Write & Publish a Memoir purpleWHERE:  Logan North Library
Cnr Sports Drive & Springwood Road, Underwood
WHEN: Tuesday 7th April 6-7.30 pm
Tea & coffee provided
COST: FREE
BOOKINGS essential: Phone 07 3412 4140

For all my readers embarking on writing a memoirs and living around the Brisbane area – you might find this FREE workshop by Karen a massive help.  She’s one inspiring woman that’s for sure.

karen-tyrrell-banner her + him

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Author Anxiety – What Do I Call Myself?

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Lately I’ve been noticing some anxiety among writers about what they should call themselves.

There are so many terms now and some of them quite official (especially when applying for grants) – emerging writer, established author, aspiring author, aspiring writer, published writer, published author, unpublished writer.

Some don’t want to claim too much or too little progress. Others complain that some writers and authors claim too much.

The definition in the dictionary simply says that a writer, “is a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist.”

As for Author it is usually associated with being professional but not always.

1 a). The writer of a book, article, or other text.
b. One who practices writing as a profession.
2. One who writes or constructs an electronic document or system, such as a website.
3. An originator or creator, as of a theory or plan.

And furthermore the same dictionary says the ultimate author is – God.

Where is this anxiety coming from?

It seems that the rise of the self published author is causing some in the publishing and writing industries consternation, including writers. Self published authors are many things depending on who you listen to. For some they bad writers who focuses on Romantic, Fantasy and Horror texts poorly written and edited, trying to break into the markets that make the most money. (Self publisher Authors should not be called Authors)

For others self published authors are people who couldn’t or just wouldn’t find a voice in mainstream publishing because of colour, gender and spirituality and have begun to publish the stories they know their community wants and others might want to hear too. This kind of self publisher is publishing histories and stories, manuals, self help books, and guidebooks, cultural heritage texts.

Some self published authors have formed ethical guilds to develop codes of practice and standards of writing. (Alliance of Self Published Authors)

Their books are not destined neccessarily to be best sellers but the stories they tell are important, that’s why they publish them. I think of  The Story of Fred Murray pamphlet and The Narrative of Frederick Douglass.

And then there are some self published authors who were traditional authors once and worked out they were better going independent.

Add to that the world of bloggers – coming from all walks of life with varying degrees of writer training. They’re sharing life stories, crafts, photography, poetry, recipes, views on parenthood and more. They are now told that their blogs are publications when entering competitions.

Another element of the mix are the smaller independent publishers who catered once, for the voiceless. Who brought and still bring together collectives to create opportunities for voice and a strengthening of diversity. They are not self publishers but publishers of those on the margins. Independent publishers not in it for financial gain necessarily, almost not for profits, (see Publishing from the Margins)

As for the published authors they are not free from these frameworks – some are commercial writers, technical writers, literary writers, nature writers and more. Some make a lot of money writing in popular genres. Some scarcely survive and so writer communities create funding to look after them in their old age.

But both these professionals and semi professionals must engage the reader – and the reader’s choices are guided by – internet searches and bookshop shelves, online book stores and word of mouth recommendations. So many studies are being done in this area I could get side tracked and go off on a tangent right now.

So many people, so many stories, make it so hard at times to negotiate becoming a paid published author. When I see these discussions my conclusion is – be a storyteller. Just write. Examine all the options open to you to share your work with the people who will benefit from reading it.

As a second generation migrant, I’m writing and telling stories in many genres to find where my authentic voice lies. I try documentary, fiction, poetry, creative film, mainstream comedy and I keep on experimenting with the style and options of publishing open to me, some doors open and some don’t. My dream is that my readers will tell me what it is they want to hear from me the most and then I’ll be well on the way to building a bigger audience.

I work on making my writing the best it can be – and study and craft, study and craft. One day success however we measure it may arrive. But another way of measuring success is to keep writing and improving and learning from what others you respect say to you. Can we only measure success in financial and material terms?

It is interesting to note that a study found those authors who combined both traditional and self publishing modes where better off than those who stuck with one mode and authors often were dissatisfied with something in both modes. With Self Publishing you have more control, more input, but also more responsibility to know enough about everything to make your book professional and to legally cover yourself. With Traditional Publishing there are also many challenges; especially for authors to achieve that high selling status in order to be viable investments  for the company. (Study cited in Lessons and Expectations as the Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey Evolves)

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I’ve been observing discussions where some claim that you are only worthy of respect if you sell a lot of books? Others think it’s if you win literary prizes judged by those who can really write. There is an extra dimension of the popular versus the high literary craft that creeps into many of these arguments. I for one am never going to be a fashion and celebrity blogger or writer. But how many celebrities turn their hand to writing children’s books and life style manuals.

Maybe it’s the craft and sales combined that determine a writer’s credibility today – a book that uplifts anyone, entertains, educates has had a portion of success.

Writing is diverse as the people who employ it as their primary mode of creative expression. It will keep developing and emerging, in spoken, written and digital cyber forms. I for one am excited about the possibilities it offers.

It’s all about being open to diverse opportunities to create and share and not denigrating anyone’s choices.

It about accessibility, diversity and supporting the writer and teller of stories to develop their craft. It’s about accepting that not all of us who write well will ever be able to make an income out of it. We may have to have other jobs.
So where is anxiety coming from for the new writer? Perhaps its from the growing realization that there are so many writers out there that not all of us will be able to do it full time, no matter how good we are or become, or which publishing option we go with.

You see however much writers and publishers complain there is the unknowable magic of writers finding their readers – and readers finding the writers they love, that is not something we can individually control or predict, even if we can have a pretty good guess and strengthen the odds with attractive writing.

(c) June Perkins

 Loved these twitter comments

Like I say. Be brave and bold in your chosen field of creativity. And never be afraid to explore new techniques.

I like (originator or creator, as of a theory or plan)and sometimes I say “word artist” but I’m not one for labels.

Professionally I was a journo. Now I write because it’s what I have always done – it’s my voice.
a writer can be a person who loves to write in any form. Ann Frank for example was a writer.

Best Read Aloud Moments #WRAD-2015

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pearlz:

Looking forward to this. Please leave comments over at Ali’s blog.

Originally posted on Spilling Ink:

litworldWRAD15logo-web Image courtesy of LitWorld.org

Wednesday the 4th of March, 2015 is World Read Aloud Day, an event launched by LitWorld to raise awareness of the importance of literacy in the fight against poverty and inequality. Celebrated by over one million readers worldwide, this is an event to get behind.

Spilling Ink is doing just that by blogging along on the topic of reading aloud–and all things related. Today, I’m sharing my favourite read-aloud book and my family’s best read-aloud moment.

My Favourite Book to Read Aloud

My read-aloud book pile is tall indeed, but the perennial favourite from my childhood and my daughters’ was Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It’s been a l-o-n-g while since any of my girls asked for a story (or fit on my lap for that matter), but I can still recite from memory the story of Max in his wolf suit.

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How It Began

pearlz:

Check out Dennis’s Book!  Many bloggers have a greater purpose.  It’s not just about traffic, likes, but about creating greater knowledge of a situation in the world, like homelessness, and bringing more understanding of that to people.

But the catch is of course the more traffic a blog has the  more understanding  they can build.

I urge all my readers to check out Dennis’s book and the story about it.  I don’t know him except through his blog and book, but I think more people need to read this wonderful work.

Originally posted on Dennis Cardiff:

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GFAH final 2

 

Author: http://ow.ly/AD39S
Blogger: http://ow.ly/AD3t4
Facebook: http://ow.ly/AD2sG

2010

How It Began

My lungs ached, as frost hung in the bitterly cold December morning air, making breathing difficult. I trudged in the falling snow toward the building where I work, in one of the city’s grey, concrete, office tower canyons. I dodged other pedestrians, also trying to get to work on time, I noticed a woman seated cross-legged on the sidewalk with her back against a building wall. A snow-covered Buddha, wrapped in a sleeping bag, shivering in the below freezing temperature. I guessed her to be in her forties. Everything about her seemed round. She had the most angelic face, sparkling blue eyes and a beautiful smile. A cap was upturned in front of her. I thought, There but for the grace of God go I. Her smile and blue eyes haunted me all day.

In the past I’ve…

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Pearlz Dreaming’s Blogger’s Manifesto

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Creative Commons rjacklin1975

1- Save all things I am keen to publish in other formats by NOT placing them on my blogs.

2- Blog the process and support materials that assist me to create my memoirs, poetry, booka and films (cool things like letters, programs and historical hyperlinks.) Share some RAW MATERIALS (try not to give too much, but just enough away).

3- Sometimes share short EXTRACTS, covers, or drafts for reader feedback with specific questions.  Make these extracts examples of my BEST WRITING.

4- Share the occasional poem or piece that I want the blog to be its publication and it is shared to inspire not for any profit or expectation (but still make sure people respect copyright by attributing it to me if reposting or sharing). STILL HAVE NOT FOR PROFIT writing.

5- CONNECT MY EBOOKS TO KEY PARTS OF THE BLOG and my online work by doing any of the above. Create special blogs for specific books that expand the journey of the book. Keep experimenting with this.

6- Take on commercial projects and commissions that generate income for me to have time to pursue the genres I love, that might not be so commerical. Mix it up more.

7- Look for work in tutoring, teaching at university level and other fields so as not to rely on my writing for income and thus write things that may not have commercial value but more spiritual and community value.

8- Close and remove posts that I think should be traditionally published.

9- Explore the possibilty of closed blogs or subscription based publication.

10- Keep exploring blogging as an art form and create blog specific projects to support myself and other writers. Look at adding a paypal donation aspect to my blog (like busking).

11- Keep visiting and supporting those who are doing any or all of the above themselves as bloggers.

12- Strive always to be an ethical blogger (attribute links, respect creative commons, link back to quotes.)

13- Save written work on blogs and from home more systematically in clouds (like I do with images on flickr) and back up, back up, back up.

14- Join more blogging collectives pursuing any of these same goals.

15- Edit, edit, edit.

16- Always where needed research and check facts for blogs carefully.

17- Share things that might not find a space of home anywhere else but my blog, as long as these are things my readers would enjoy.

18 -Consider always the READER! Be they family, potential publishers and so on.

19- Read my manifesto when considering hitting the post button.

20- Be proud of the things I have learnt blogging, (eg: the people I have connected to, the potential characters that I have been introduced to and not apologise for that.) That is share the learnings and power of blogging whilst avoiding its pitfalls.

So from now on you might see more ‘raw materials’ of my writing scanned and shared.

You might find the ending of a story missing. You may find a link you once read has vanished.

But don’t worry – that means a polished piece is on its way and a link to where to buy it will appear.

Interviews will continue, but sometimes I may not put them on my blog but will send them somewhere for publication – which may even be online.