Today was the first time I’ve attended a seminar or class in the Crescent Arts Centre in nearly 20 years – the building is wonderfully improved from the last time I was there. Compared to what I remembered, I didn’t even recognise the interior. I have happy memories of classes I’ve attended there and I was nostalgic and excited to return and see how it’s turned out.
Once I had a look around I headed up to the studio on the top floor and spent the whole day engrossed in LitnetNI’s How to Make a Living as a Writer in the 21st Century. While I don’t earn my fulltime income from writing, the seminar was beneficial for me and I can apply what I learned to my own writing career.
Eoin Purcell provided up to date and comprehensive technical information about building a public profile, with specific reference to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social and business media. I got a good overview of the subject from him and also answers to my own questions.
Since my novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, was published in 2008 I’ve been steadily learning about marketing and developing an online presence. Catherine Ryan Howard’s presentation was a great pep talk – an example of what marketing can do when you put your mind to it. I was familiar with many of the topics she covered but I also picked up new information that I’m itching to use.
And Carlo Gebler pulls no punches – he tells it like it is. He has a very straightforward, sensible approach to writing as a job and gave very useful tips. Making a living as a writer isn’t the easy option but he’s focussed my thoughts about the course I need to follow.
I was excited about the seminar before I attended it and even more excited when the day ended. It was time well spent – a very worthwhile day for me. But, I’d better get on as I have lots of work to do!