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LitCamp

Today it was to the London Metropolitan University on the Holloway Road for LitCamp - a day of talks, mingling and discussions on all things literary - organised by the indefatigable Pulp founder Lane Ashfeldt. I listened to Bridget Whelan talk about how hard it is to continue writing whilst making a living in the day job and also an inspiring graphic poet, Jay Bernard. For my part I gave a talk on small publishing and my experience of it. I kind of felt I was preaching to the converted though to be honest, I felt was a big Bogus on my part. I definitely feel Bogus talking as a writer. I mean, there's this vocation, occupation or past-time that demands solitude from you - you get your head down and you write, and when you're not writing you're being as observant of others as you can so that you can feel your way into characters and storylines. And then there's this other part of being a writer, which is exactly the opposite - talking in public to people you don't know and having to try and verbalise this process or certain issues you write about (verbalising is such a different phenomenon). Don't get me wrong - I feel grateful that I am asked at all, really - but am I comfortable with it? Not a bit. And I think what I hate most of all is pretending that I am comfortable with it as though self-promotion should be the most natural thing in the world - standing up in front of 5 or 50 people talking as though you actually know something when you know that you know a lot less than you think other people think of you! You see? Exhausting.

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