It's school holidays here, so things are even more hectic than usual. Seriously. I need a long lie down.
As such, I have no pithy introduction for you. Instead, perhaps you would like to see what my actual writing shed looks like in its normal state. Which means slightly messy and operated by someone who has little clue what they are doing.
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I recently subscribed to literary agent, Kate Mclean’s newsletter on Substack. This post on author platforms makes a really important distinction between having a platform that shows you are popular and one that sells your book. Surprise, surprise. It’s the second bit that matters.
I’ve linked to Novlr at least once before. It’s basically a cloud-based writing app that’s built especially for creative writers, particularly novelist. I’m too stuck in my ways with Ulysses to switch, but I always think it looks like a really good app for lots of people.
Tim Clare runs an excellent podcast for writers and we share a lovely agent. If you ever wondered how best to support your favourite authors, this is a marvellous list. Paragraph three of point 15 is my favourite thing I’ve read on writing for a while:
These are tough times to be making great, weird art – perhaps twas ever thus – and taking the leap and choosing to become a supporter of someone on Patreon – even with just a $1 a month donation – is a fundamentally political act. It’s a vote for art, a vote for culture, it’s an active, positive step towards a reality where independent creators are valued and celebrated and free to fill the world with awesome stuff. We need imagination more than ever. And imagineers gotta eat.
You can replace Patreon with any number of services (I’ve been linking to some of them these last few issues). Authors and publishers need to experiment to find ways to generate reliable, recurring income. Doesn’t have to be a full-time salary. But it should feel like a salary.
First of all, the Curtis Brown blog is full of great content, much of it written by its own agents and authors. This is a super list of stuff to consider if you are in the process of rewriting. I found myself nodding along sagely.
Do you work in cafes, libraries and other people’s offices? I certainly do, so this week I decided it was time to protect my online privacy by setting up a proper VPN. You don’t need to know what that means because I don’t especially and I still managed to get Tunnelbear up and running quickly.
There is so much nonsense around having the perfect workspace. I wrote my first novel at desks, on the floor, on the sofa and yes, in bed. And now that I am self-employed, I am able to shrug off all the rules that come with having to be in an office every day. Basically, write where the heck you want.
I’ve been getting emails from Five Dials since it started years ago. It’s grown a lot and if you like art, writing, literature and other such cultural pursuits, you might like to check it out.
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