Skip to main content

The digi.lit Report

This last Saturday I was at digi.lit, San Francisco's first digital literary conference. My brain has been humming ever since.

I was there as a volunteer for this Litquake event, but also got to sit in on several panels during the first half of the day, and came away with so much inspiration and excitement. Sometimes publishing conferences have an air of despair about them: if we're all being honest with ourselves, very few are going to emerge from the conference published, and even those who do will quite likely be disappointed with the process anyway. digi.lit was not like that. But it also wasn't a "whoo-hoo, we're all gonna get rich off our writing!" kind of feeling either. There was no sense of evangelism about the event: the purpose was not to convince every attendee of the value of digital publishing. It was all very dialogue-based. The over-arching emotion I walked away with was possibility. There are just so many more ways to tell a story, have your story experienced, and get your stories out there than ever before, and even the possibilities are expanding. As Lisa Rutherford, of the super cool publishing group, Coliloquy, said during a panel entitled If it's Digital, Can It Be Literature: "We are at the tipping point of what is possible."

I heard all kinds of fascinating ideas about how technology and writing are intersecting:

  • Crowdsourced original (and GORGEOUS) cover art for some of the greatest works of fiction in the public domain by Recovering the Classics. For instance, this and this. (Seriously, take five minutes to browse and hide your credit card from yourself).
  • A legal novel told from several different points of view, but you can't scan backward to double check what you've read before, and you have to choose who is innocent. (Coliloquy)
  • Being able to subscribe to stories according to your favorite themes.
  • Getting feedback on each serialized chapter of your book. (JukePop)
  • Teen girls who are writing and sharing chapters with the likes of Margaret Atwood. Oh, how I would have so been all over this when I was a teen. (Wattpad)
  • Posting all your research on Pinterest as a way to grab reader's attention (this has totally intrigued me: I will be creating a Pinterest page for both my existing and work in progress novels post haste).

Which is to say, I was inspired. One of the things I've been trying to do is think wider about writing, about all the possibilities with writing. It's not my first instinct to do so: I like writing the way I write, it works for me, if anything it's gotten easier with repetition. But it's good to have your own expectations expanded. And thinking in possibility, rather than what's worked in the past, opens you up to all kinds of creativity. 

On my bus ride to the conference, I read a line from a Poets & Writers article that read:"Conflict is what brings about growth." And I was chewing on this idea in regard to my own challenges at the moment (primarily, needing to find work that is both meaningful and sustainable), and realizing that yes, this point in life could be about growth, if I seek that out. And there's still a lot of heated debate and conflict around digital publishing (every single author reading I go to seems to include one nervous person in the crowd asking about the future of books and bookstores). But maybe it's helpful to look at this as a time of growth as well. A time of possibility. 


Comments

  1. Some really useful slides here. I've been looking for something like this to help with a research piece I've been working on.
    training to be a life coach

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think life coaching is fascinating! I hope your research is leading you to interesting things!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

For Mom, Twenty-One Years Later

I lost my mom twenty-one years ago today. She died from complications related to a long battle with chronic-progressive multiple sclerosis. I was a week away from turning twenty-one. Which means I have not had her as long as I did have her.
It used to make me unique among my friends, to have lost a parent at such a young age. But I’m no longer young and many friends have joined this depressing club. The dues are astronomical and no one prepares refreshments.
People, moms are important. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Whether you were once a child or are currently a mom. They are the sun, moon, and stars, even when they are completely obscured by darkness.
I wish she mattered less. She doesn’t. She matters more than almost anything: that first hit of love, that childhood sense of safety, that initial understanding of what it means to be a woman in the world: mom.



Memory is funny when it comes to dead people: I can remember her any way I want. Which means I can also mis-remem…

The Thankful List

I make a decent attempt at gratitude on the regular, but I love how this season makes me think about it specifically. Even in the midst of all the holiday hoopla and the days of generalized anxiety we currently live in, there are genuine reflections of thankfulness everywhere. Way more so than say Valentine's day prompting people to really reflect on their love for someone. I've been keeping a list in my notes app on my phone to record the things that are currently immense suppliers of joy in my life. Here's an incomplete list:

My dental hygienist.
This is not a product placement disguised as gratitude. This is my genuine, heartfelt gratitude for a woman I see every six months who I have complete trust in, and who makes an otherwise unpleasant experience as humane and awesome as possible. Yes, yes, my dentist is also great. Absolutely. But making a teeth cleaning a pleasant experience is a gift not many hygienists possess. It's a combo of demeanor, the exact right amou…

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

If you still haven’t found your sea legs in this new reality You are not alone
If you check your privilege while wondering how You are not alone
If your empathy is worn down by 3pm each day You are not alone
If you’re terrified by normalizing this but desire stabilization You are not alone
If you haven’t figured out how to talk to your family about this new reality You are not alone
If you want to post something flippant to social media and feel guilty about it not being political enough You are not alone
If you can’t figure out how to talk about this morning’s tragedy and by the time you do everyone else is raging about the next thing You are not alone
If you are often paralyzed and enraged by your own paralysis You are not alone
If you wish you could go back to the good old days of 2015 You are not alone
If you loathe being so lazy You are not alone <