Monday, 24 January 2011

How many hats?

This is my most recent business card. The wonderful Design Jack designed it for me. In fact he made it all from scratch; back when we worked together I asked him if he'd design the card and when I couldn't think what to out on it, he came up with Poet, Performer, Editor, Puppeteer. Seemed resonable. Accurate. And the design in total was so perfect.

Last year I needed more cards and was ready to add Coach (as a good indicator of a new strand of work). Which we did.

Now it's been so long since I've stepped out the house with a puppet I'm beginning to feel uncomfortable with that label on the card. It's veering towards fraudulent. My intentions are there. Mr Puppet is almost ready to start rehearsals, but to have that stated up there with poet/editor isn't entirely accurate. I'm a puppeteer on sabbatical.

I had to write a personal spec for a mentoring project I'm about to begin, and came up with: editor, commissioner, writer, digital publisher, producer, coach, opportunist. But I'd need a bigger card to include all of them. And they're not all relevant for business, more a description of my professional character. Which is how I see puppeteer at the moment - it is wildly important to me as a poet, and hugely inspirational to consider movement and animation as I write, but it isn't necessarily accurate as a business descriptive. Plus, I've always struggled with it coming directly above coach. The connections aren't good there ...

Freelancers need to cast a wide net, which is fortunate since that's my nature. I'm a multi-guy-roped girl: tons of string keep me anchored to the world. There is, however, always mileage in distinguishing between professional and personal labels, even when they start wrapping around each other. I need to do a bit of unpicking.

Or get my act together with Mr P and see what he can do

Monday, 17 January 2011

The Writing Smithy

The Writing Smithy is a new venture I'm embarking upon with novelist Jenn Ashworth. Cue trumpets.

It's a mentoring and manuscript appraisal service for novelists and poets. And I'm all of a shiver about it for a few reasons:

1. Working with Jenn offers me a supportive, enthusiastic and professional partnership. And so I hope this will get passed onto the writers we work with.
2. I'll be at the coal face of writer development. It's one of my favourite jobs to work alongside writers on their writing, so it feels great to be setting out in that as a commercial enterprise.
3. It's a chance to work over a period of time with individual witers. For Flax I work with the writers we publish intensively over the period publication and then we cross paths every so often after that. This is a more continuous exchange.
4. I get to use my editing and coaching skills in one package, which feels like a creative opportunity.
5. It makes me feel intrepid in a way I've not been before. Always a good thing.
6. I love our logo: combining the flourishing nature of creative work with the hard labour of a smithy. Geddit?

Monday, 10 January 2011

Flash Flax

Flax is dipping its toe into new waters for this year - beginning with 'Singles' in March - three separate e-chapbooks of short fictions, authors to be unveiled shortly - and an anthology of flash fictions coming out in April.

We're still accepting submissions for the Flash anthology and are doing so until the end of Jan. Details on this page of the Litfest website.

And then we're working on special commissions for the next few publications. But the biggest deal (for me) is that we're moving into e-books, which I'm sincerely excited about for the fiction, but a little more anxious about for the poetry and how we manage line breaks ... Watch this space