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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Saturday, 15 December 2007

I was to have visited Belfast for a few days before returning to Dublin. I've always wanted to spend time in both Belfast & its neighbour city, Londonderry, a good 70 miles away.
But I've decided to return to Dublin straightaway as I am cajoled back into my private writing world - writing my play and fiction; both have been neglected for too long. You just know when the heart and spirit calls not to delay any longer.
In a way, I dispute this.
Perhaps the feeling is one of pure guilt. I learnt and agreed with many authors at the recent Singapore Writer's Festival that the time when an author feels he/she is ready to write, simply never arrives.
There'll always be something to pull you away, a present circumstance, some commitment or a new plan. At best, the writer would have encountered a long delay of time wasted.
"You have to discipline yourself," offers Tash Aw, bestselling Malaysian novelist of The Harmony Silk Factory in the UK. His debut work of literary fiction was also longlisted for the Man Booker prize 2005. He added that writing steadily everyday felt like going to the office to do a job. At the risk of feeling miserable, one still had to do it, he stressed.
With this in mind, I'll put Belfast on hold as a treat once my work is properly underway. The first thing I have to do in Dublin is to pick up the newest edition of AC Black's famous Writers' & Artists' Yearbook. It will serve as an excellent teacher, guide and even mentor.
I didn't buy one earlier as it proves a chunky read to lug around.
No doubt, Barry Turner's The Writer's Handbook is just as good. It's a few years old and tailored exactly after AC Black's title. But The Writer's Handbook doesn't transfer electronically asAC Black's does. You can find its world directory of literary agents and publishers on the web although it's still running this year's edition.
The W&A Yearbook is the excellent bible if you're the aspiring author who really wants to keep abreast with updated information on the publishing, media and entertainment industries in the major regions of the world.
There are separate editions for aspiring actors and also childrens' book authors. I'm buying the one pictured above. It represents complete details on directories featuring the global newspapers & magazines, book clubs, prizes, syndicated picture agencies, television & cinematic production studios, repertory theatres, literary agents, poetry magazines/publishers, the smaller independent presses, childrens' book markets and book publishers for literary and commmercial fiction with major emphasis on main players like the UK, US, India & Europe.
This wonderful writer's bible features lengthy helpful and in-depth essays on the poetry, publishing and literary agency scenes around the world and suggests careful submission guidelines for manuscripts, synopses and query letters. The reader is educated on current happenings and publishing predictions for the coming year.
At least, I won't make any mistakes on submitting my own play and fiction. And if I wasn't sure that I really was a writer, I do know it now.

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