Appearances/ News/ Travel

Advise me about my upcoming conference talk, Internet friends

Hey, readers! I know that a significant subset of you are affiliated with libraries in various capacities, and I think that is excellent.

On October 9th, I’ll be speaking at the Washington Library Media Association conference in Yakima, Washington.

My talk is called “Balancing Act: Being an Author/Librarian And How You Can, Too!” (Yes, it will be a talk filled with enthusiasm and exclamation points. But don’t worry, it won’t be annoyingly chipper, or at least that is not my intent.)

Anyway, I bring this up for two reasons:

1. Some of you may be attending this conference and I’d love it if you would come to my session, and

2. I’d like to ask y’all for your thoughts on how I can make this talk most useful and effective.

Even if you’re not a library-person-with-authorial-ambitions-and/or-accomplishments, feel free to imagine that you are, and comment about what you think I should discuss, explain, cover, or otherwise address.

Enormous thanks in advance from me and on behalf of my audience!

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  • jessamyn
    August 28, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Annoyingly chipper is actually okay! I have a few suggestions

    – I’d tell people a little bit about what you do all day, how you split your time, what’s easy, what’s hard, what you wish you could do but can’t, etc.
    – I’d tell people some anecdotes about what some other librarian/writers do, if you know any
    – I’d use very very few words on your slides, if you’re doing any at all. no bullet lists unless it’s a list of single words
    – answer the question “how did you get a book contract” in some detail. I’d mention your agent and why it’s good to have one
    – I’d talk a little about the book biz from the author perspective as opposed to the librarian perspective. What surprised you, what was easier/harder than you thought.
    – I’d keep to one point every five or ten minutes
    – leave 10-15 minutes for questions and have an anecdote or two in case people have no questions

    I hope it goes great!

  • Claire
    August 28, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I don’t really have any advice, just this reflection, based on my own experience – I put this on Facebook and then decided to put it here instead.

    As an artist / art teacher I can relate to your topic – and I like the title. Figuring out how to balance two careers (one paying and one not really paying so far) has been a huge challenge for me. For a long time I thought the key was in getting the perfect teaching job that allowed me enough time and energy to make art.

    At some point I decided to stop worrying about finding the perfect job and to focus on making art anyways. And strangely enough, after I did that, not only did I make some sculptures I really love, I started to enjoy my teaching job a lot more, and to get more recognition at work. Which was completely unexpected.

    I suppose in terms of practical information, it would be interesting and helpful to hear how much time you spend writing each week, how you structure it, and how you get through the rough patches.

    Good luck with your talk – what a great opportunity for you!