Business Block Workshop and Blog Series: Week 18 2018: What Are You Creating?

Reading The Future

Looks like April is over… and still winter lingers in London.

This week, I took a trip to Dublin to celebrate 250 years of Hodges Figgis bookstore, with publisher and literature strategist, Alan Hayes.

Alan published some of my academic work in a past life. These days he runs Arlen House. For HF's big birthday, he put together an anthology of new Irish writing. 250 extracts, one for each year, making it the largest anthology ever of new Irish writing: Reading the Future: New Writing from Ireland. (I offered an extract from my next Yeats/Gonne novel, A Child, Dancing).

Hodges Figgis has sold millions of books in its continuous 250 years as a Dublin bookstore, and promoted and hosted many thousands of Irish writers, yours truly included. From 1840, it made a significant contribution to the Irish literary renaissance and to Irish language publishing.

“For almost 200 years it was a very distinguished publisher [too],” says Alan, “publishing many Irish literary and cultural writers, and acting as official publisher and bookseller to Trinity College, the Royal Irish Academy, the Royal Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Dublin Society.

Reading The Future With Samuel Figgis's grand-daughter Nicola Figgis (centre) and sister
With Samuel Figgis's grand-daughter Nicola Figgis (centre) and sister (left) at the launch of Reading The Future

“The best way to celebrate HF's distinctive contribution to Irish life was, I felt, to publish a book of new Irish writing.”

Being Alan, it does much more than this. It's a non-profit project, with the contributors, cover artist, HF staff, and Alan himself giving their time and skills for free.

HF and Waterstones are donating profits from sales into a fund to support the literary community. So for Alan,”this anthology fulfills a dual mission: celebrating an extraordinary anniversary of a much-loved institution, while at the same time generating some much-needed funding for Irish literature.”

Takeaway for you: Could you organize a non-profit project with a partner to further your mission?


Business Block Blog Series and Workshop

Tomorrow evening is the first Tuesday and our workshop theme this week is going to be “Identifying and Beating Business Block“.Business Block Blog Series and Workshop

Do you suffer from business block? Love creating but “hate” marketing? Afraid of selling and appearing sleazy? Unable to reconcile the creative and the commercial?

Everyone knows all about writer's block but, for most creatives, block is more common around money and business than any other arena.

Perhaps that’s not surprising in a world that keeps the creative and the commercial so firmly apart.

This workshop brings them together.

It begins by identifying the seven kinds of business block, brings you through an exercise that will help you establish which one is yours, and shows how you don't defeat block, you dissolve it, by tapping your own innate creative flow and applying it to money and business. Join us by signing up here to get a reminder. (A replay will be available but live you'll be able to ask questions and join in).

I had been using Webinarjam for the workshops but finding it a little over-complicated. I'm hoping Facebook will make life easier for you and for me. Interested, as always, in your feedback so let me know how you find it.

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