Reading the Writing World

I love my career as a writer. There is so much more to it than just sitting down somewhere and writing a poem, a story, a song. There’s a world of research behind the actual creative bits. Some of it is heavy, but a lot of it is joyous. Right now? I’m listening to some very ‘non-famous’ singers, for what their songs tell me about my own. Also, reading mid-20th century history. Also, watching true crime videos. Also, studying screen adaptations of various books. And pursuing a couple other lines of inquiry that I’ll keep quiet until they yield creative fruit. If ever they do.

And then there’s the world of research into how Arts Industry functions – this year has been a rich opportunity to learn more about how various international jurisdictions handle various kinds of rights.

I’ve met some brilliant people, through whom I’ve caught tantalizing glimpses of the views ahead. It’s a lot of work, and I am so grateful for the mentors, sponsors and teachers who support this work. For instance, Book Publishers Association of Alberta & Stonehouse Publishing sent me to Frankfurt to attend the world’s largest Book Fair.

In this, Canada’s year as ‘Guest of Honour’ at Frankfurt, it was clear how simultaneously big and small we are as a nation with a distinct and distinctly Plural culture.

Our literary culture is full of individualism and quirkiness, true; but we’re also a community, forged around advocacy organizations like The Writers Union of Canada – TWUC maintains a trove of resources for writers, and fights, along with Access Copyright, the Public Lending Right and CAA, for better deals for writers. I’m thankful for the ways they support members, and help us see our individual situations as part of a creative industry. They’ve done a lot of legwork to compile really useful resources for navigating a complex career in a fast-changing industry.

Still, a lot of this learning is ‘out of pocket’ ‘on spec’ and potentially tangential, but I love that too. On Wednesday, I’m off to The Philippines! Virtually, that is – to find out how, in a globalized marketplace, they’re tackling challenges with getting homegrown Philippine lit into remote (particularly Indigenous and remote), communities. Sound like familiar issues, Canada? I am keen to find out.

Today’s image is of a Bohol Tarsier, tiny in the leaves, posted by giulianabencovich on the mighty

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