Been recovering from both the Pennwriters Conference and the request for a partial from an agent, which meant that last week was mostly recovering from putting together the package and getting things back to normal. Well, sort of. For this household, that is.
Realised that I’d love to do a seminar for the next Conference on Second Life and what it can do for writers – NOT the usual "Oh, you go and PROMOTE yourself!" type of hype that you get, frankly, from everyone under the sun, but telling them what you can do in SL that’ll help you as a writer.
Tonight I’m attending a poetry discussion of Walt Whitman’s "Leaves of Grass" in SL. Sunday I went to a lecture on Irish and Scottish Folklore. I’ve gone to poetry readings and author interviews with big-name authors who could take questions from the virtual audience filled with people from around the world. I’ve visited a replica of King Tut’s tomb and been able to zoom in on the ancient artifacts and studied them while a recorded voice gave me the history. I’ve gone to a Bhuddist Temple and meditated with other people. And I’ve gone to a Space Park and watched the stars fly by and orbited an asteroid with beautiful music in the background.
All of which I would find hard if not impossible to do without SL. Sure, I’ve seen the workshops for authors and I’ve attended a few meetings of critique groups and so forth in SL, but it really comes home to me when I visit places set up just for promoting books…
… and they’re empty.
Why? Because, as another blog pointed out to me, authors selling to authors is just plain boring. And nonproductive. Yes, you have to do that ‘orrible "networking" thang but you have to reach out beyond other authors and get into the public eye where they are. Which is not on another author’s blog or website or SL sim where everyone has a book for sale and you’re trying to sell to each other. Socializing outside of literary circles will, at least, give you a wider audience. So if you can’t get out of the house to hang out in a mall or a coffee shop or a library… why not do it in SL?
And… it’s good for the soul. As authors we tend to get too wrapped up in ourselves and not get OUT enough, either mentally or physically – thus the Wii Fit and the EA Active in our living room. Mentally it’s great to wander around New Babbage as a clockwork dragon and go to a lecture on Charles Babbage or visit a Victorian sim where everyone has excellent manners or go play in a casino to recharge those mental batteries… and then off to a virtual library to see the 3-D displays or hang out in a pub with other virtual people chatting about pianos and how the construction’s changed of these fine pieces over the centuries.
You can’t get that anywhere else. And it’s good for the soul to reach out and get new experiences even if it’s "only" in a virtual sense.