emerging butterfly; bewildered moth

July 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Last year, I attended a couple of Industry Insider panels run by the Emerging Writers Festival, and this year I was back again.

Arts and Book Coverage was the focus. Once again, the advice was sound:

  • Write for as many publications as possible, including blogs
  • Do your research before pitching or submitting a piece to a publication: read their stuff, practice writing in their style and to their word limits.
  • Always address the editor by name in your pitch – it shows attention to detail and basic research skills
  • Write the piece as though you were talking to a friend to avoid pretension

But something about the whole experience fell flat.

The title ’emerging’ doesn’t hold the same wonder it once did, the same promise. Last year, I embraced the idea of being an ’emerging’ writer, an ’emerging’ content creator, whatever. I had big plans; all I had to do was act on them and things would happen. But now, for reasons that aren’t altogether clear to me, labelling myself ’emerging’ in any shape or form feels ill-fitting in a way it didn’t then. Maybe it’s too idealistic a sentiment.

Maybe I’ve at last come to terms with the fact that I don’t put in the work. And if you don’t put in the work, how can you call yourself an ’emerging’ anything? I think I’ve accepted that. My priorities are elsewhere now. Whether that’s the right thing remains to be seen.

But it wasn’t until I was sitting smack bang in the middle of that near-deserted room, watching another compelling panel made up of creatives happily sharing their advice that I was struck by this epiphany, this feeling of separation. Something had shifted. They weren’t talking to me anymore.




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