Tunbridge Wells now boasts a literary festival. Over four days this year it hosts talks from well-known writers such as Michael Rosen, Michael Parkinson and Sheila Hancock. But not just the big names.
Yesterday was the day local writers could book a table and hawk their wares. It’s been some time since I’ve taken part in one of these, in fact, I’ve only done it once before, I think. When I used to regularly have paintings in exhibitions, I spent a lot of time essentially doing the same thing – chatting to other painters, talking to members of the public who might buy a painting and generally ‘networking’ (I still find that a slightly silly word). Although talking about Making Friends with the Crocodile did have another effect – it reminded me again that I’m beginning to feel I ought to take one final trip to India, sometime.
Anyway, I think I should probably do one of these more often. Did I sell armfuls of books? No, but I sold a few. I had some good conversations with members of the public and other writers, It also seems to have the effect of energising my commitment to writing, which is something that happened to my painting at exhibitions, too. Talking about my books and projects encourages me to focus afresh on them and, basically, get my finger out and get on with it, which can’t be a bad thing.
So, I’d better get on with it.