Friday, 5 May 2017

Everything a writer needs - Ikigai and ScotsWrite - Linda Strachan

The Japanese concept, Ikigai  ( pronounced exactly as it is written), looks at all the things that make us writers, and what makes us human. It brings them together to create a reason for living, our Raison d'être.   

I came across the word Ikigai, a while ago and realised that it relates to everything a writer is and wants, and what makes us who we are - our Profession, Mission, Vocation, and our Passion. 

Ikigai joins these four things together with four other ideas, and these also struck a cord as relating to our lives as writers.
Mission and Passion  - What we love
Passion and Profession - What we are good at
Profession and vocation - What we  can be paid for
Vocation and Mission - What the world needs

Around that time the idea to hold a conference for writers was being discussed by the voluntary committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland, all working writers. Why not hold a weekend conference - designed by writers for writers - because when you think about it, who else knows what we want and what we need?  So it seemed a perfect fit, our conference and our Ikigai.

It's been a while in the making but this week, after an inordinate about of work,and with help from our London office and our incredibly efficient conference coordinator, Jenny, we launched our conference website and our new logo.

When I say we, I mean a team of very hardworking people, the majority of them self employed, most are writers with deadlines to meet, books brewing in their heads, and like most writers who should be writing, people looking for a good excuse to get stuck into what has become the ultimate displacement activity.

We have debated and challenged each other to find the people we wanted to speak to writers at all stages of their writing lives, from aspiring to well established. We asked ourselves lots of questions. 

What about making a living at writing in these uncertain times? How can we become more successful and stretch our creative muscles, diversifying in what we write and how we write it?  How do we unlock the secrets of different genres, work with agents or publishers and how do we get that elusive book deal, or self publish our own books?    

We wanted to look at our health and general well being, to encourage us all to look beyond the actual words on the page and sitting at a desk, to  keep ourselves 'writing fit' in all areas of our lives physically and mentally, to be able to help others. So we added in Tai Chi and CPR training.
Writers live quite solitary lives at times and it is important to make time to chat to people, so networking time was important, a Gala dinner, Gin tasting  and of course a Ceilidh (it is Scotland after all!).  

We are hoping our vision of what a conference for writers should be will attract writers from near and far to join us and have a great time, make new friends and learn lots from a variety of experts. ScotsWrite is set to be one of the most stimulating and helpful events in the Scottish writing calendar this year, so why not come and join us!

 Early bird rates till June 5th - book now!  
 Twitter  #ScotsWrite17


Linda Strachan is the author of over 60 books for all ages from picture books to teenage novels and a writing handbook - Writing For Children.

Linda is currently Chair of the SOAiS - The Society of Authors in Scotland 

Her latest YA novel is Don't Judge Me . 

She is Patron of Reading to Liberton High School, Edinburgh.

Her bestselling series Hamish McHaggis illustrated by Sally J. Collins who also illustrated Linda's retelling of Greyfriars Bobby.

blog:  Bookwords 


catdownunder said...

Sigh........ I wish!

Sue Purkiss said...

Sounds wonderful!

Linda Strachan said...

Sorry you don't live a little closer, Cat!

Linda Strachan said...

Why not come and join us, Sue!

We are getting very excited about all the things on offer. You only pay half the hotel costs when you book and the rest at the conference in September, when you check in, so you can spread the cost, too!