Sunday, March 20, 2005

Counting down to publication – and more shyness

Word Count:118,679

One month and one day until publication of Book 2. Not that this matters to anyone but me, of course, but it is the culmination of so much work…

There’s been a long gap since the last book because of changing publishers. Ideally in commercial fiction, you need to be writing a book a year, but then schedules change and it takes longer. At the moment I don’t rely on writing as my only income but if that changes (which I feel ambivalent about, more I am sure in the weeks to come) then schedules can play havoc with your cashflow… for example, publication of my 3rd novel has just been moved from March 2006 to July 2006 – now this is apparently good news as my publisher will be aiming at the competitive but lucrative summer market. BUT it does mean a longer wait for the dosh!

I do feel like I’ve got my work cut out at the moment. As well as the revisions to my new book before I submit it to my editor, I am relaunching my website with the help of the wonderful James Williams – that should go live in the next week or so and, because I’m a glutton for punishment, there are two entirely new sections including the ‘Between the Lines Club’ which is a free newsletter featuring book reviews, interviews with excellent authors, writing exercises AND a problem page for new writers. If you want Dear Auntie Kate, agony aunt to authors and would-be writers, to answer your problem, click here…

More news on the other section – my Boot Camp for the Broken-Hearted – to follow.

There seems to be a mini-discussion going on about shyness in my comments section, so I’ve been thinking a little more about it… I’ve always been shy and I don’t know whether it’s shyness that made me an author, in a way. If you tend to be introverted then your natural position is to observe the world, rather than actively propel yourself into the action. So this can mean you see people’s behaviour with the eye of an ‘outsider’ – whereas if you’re an extrovert you’re too busy ‘doing’ to record your responses…

Of course, that’s a sweeping generalisation if ever there was one. I do know some very outgoing, lively writers. I’ve also ‘trained’ myself to approach social events with less trepidation (though I commented under the last entry that anything involving canapés still makes my knees knock under my posh frock). But I still rarely enjoy those things, unless I am among friends… maybe the trick is to keep going until the other people there are friends as well.

Anyway, pontificating aside, I’d love to know what other people have done to tackle their shyness…

The sun has been fab this last few days. I was in Putney on Friday night, down by the river Thames, and it felt more like June than March. The spring always makes me feel fantastic. But tomorrow is going to be grim, whatever the weather. It’s the day when the BBC redundancies will be announced and my department is going to bear the brunt. On a personal level, it’s disturbing but I am also fed up on a professional level: I don’t quite understand why the top brass are making the decisions they are making. We know money needs to be saved, and that will involve quite brutal job losses, but I don’t feel the logic of the specific cuts they’re making (to factual programming, where I work with some of the most talented, dedicated people I have ever met) has been properly explained.

Ah well… I don’t think we’re even meant to make ‘public’ comments but it does make me angry.
Lovely Link of the Day:

This is a really fascinating interview with TV reporter and novelist Tom Bradby which I just came across. I love reading lengthy interviews which get under the skin of how and why people write and live. Haven’t read any of his novels but I might now…

Have a great week,
Kate

2 Comments:

Blogger Diane said...

When I "worked for a living", which of course I don't now as I'm a writer, I got over my shyness through cold calling. Everyone hated cold calling, but it didn't bother me, which was strange as I'm very shy and naturally paranoid. I took the attitude that they didn't know who I was and, if they didn't pick up my idea, they'd never know who I was.

After 20 years of being a published writer, and 9 years doing it full time I'm still painfully shy. But I adopt the same attitude with query letters and calling editors these days that I did then.

Attending events is something else, and this year I'm going to have to combat my shyness and speak in front of 400 people at our unon's annual conference. I'm hoping to get around this by getting someone else to write the words on those subjects I'm not feeling passionate about. On my own subjects, I'm hoping the passion will carry me through.

It's difficult, but when I was teaching I seemed to paint on a public face and "put on a performance". Other than that, I don't know what to say or what we can do.

You're certainly not alone, though.

9:00 am  
Blogger Sarah Ann Finley said...

I love the way your all so honest about being shy…when I was younger, and still sometimes now when I’m having my quiet moments I hated the fact that I was shy…my older sister was completely different to me, very loud and outgoing, where as my twin and I were both awkwardly quiet…que the “Your nothing like your sister” comments I got from my teachers.

It’s nice that people, especially successful writers, such as yourselves can be so open about it, and like Kate I totally agree with the fact that being quiet allows us to take a step back within situations, I used to find that a hard thing to do as I always felt that I should have something to say, but just recently I realised that it’s a good thing for me as a writer as it allows me to analyse situations and character traits within people, that the outgoing chatterbox may miss, thus bringing them to life within my writing.

Anyway thanks for the email Kate, I’ll definitely be using your website within my article and fingers crossed that it gets published!! Oh and I found your website through Jenny Colgans website, she has a link to your site, stumbled across it in November if I remember correctly…and I found it very inspirational…definitely made me want to carry on writing.

I will let you know if I get my article published.

8:42 pm  

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