Open Mic Night

‘Another great turn out for tonight’s Busybird Open Mic Night’

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending one of Busybird’s Open Mic Night’s, and what a great experience it was!

We started the night with a quick dinner (pizza, of course!), and then welcomed readers and audience members into the Busybird studio for a couple of drinks and some nibblies before the readings started. I realised the atmosphere was incredibly supportive after speaking with a few readers; they were nervous, as can be expected, but they knew they were speaking to a group of like-minded people. Everyone there was either a writer themselves, or was supporting one, and it was really great to see so many people turn up to what I had thought would be a pretty small event.

Open Mic Night at Busybird is held on the third Wednesday of every month, and they average from 14-17 readers a night. I was lucky enough to come on a night where one of the regulars was reading some of her spectacularly funny poetry, and decided to charm us with a song afterwards.

As this was my first time, I didn’t read anything of my own, but sat back and enjoyed listening to the other fantastic stories that people had written. It’s always so interesting to see how different the genre and writing styles can be between people of different ages, gender etc. We were also introduced to a few of Busybird’s newly published books, and the author of one spoke to us about why she had written her book on domestic violence, before reading a short part of it. As you could imagine, it was a difficult thing for her to speak about and the passage that she read to us was emotive and capturing. Not only did this event give her a chance to promote her book, it was the first time she had spoken about her ordeal in front of an audience.

We finished the night off with a song from BB’s own Kev, which was utterly fantastic!

For me, the most comforting part of Open Mic Night was seeing the community that this event has created. Everyone was enjoying themselves, and meeting people that might help them better their writing, and it was truly wonderful to watch and be a part of.

Thanks, Busybird!

Who Knew?!

It was meant to be

I’ve had an awakening in the past few weeks. One that was incredibly obvious, and also incredibly necessary.

My frequent copyediting, proofreading and constant computer-staring-at (coining the phrase immediately) had gotten me worried about my posture, shoulders and the mass amounts of tension held in my neck.

Most people are aware that I am a stressed person, just in general. I stress about all kinds of stress, even when there isn’t really anything stressful happening (I’m stressed right now as I write this) and, as a result, I am always finding myself tense and sore. I’ve started working on this with stretching and breathing exercises but was recently informed of the benefits of yoga.

Here comes the incredibly obvious part: exercise is good for you!

I still routinely pretend not to believe that epiphany as I sit on the couch with a block of Cadbury’s best, but I decided to ignore my protesting self and give it a try, and boy, it is FANTASTIC!

I owe all of my progress (we’ll call it that for now) to the wonderful people at Busybird. Being at Busybird has changed my outlook on a lot of these health concerns that I pass over as small nothings. The team at BB make it a priority to get away from the computer and all screens for at least an hour everyday; they go for walks, they stretch and move around, and how grateful I am that they have shown me the importance of taking care of yourself.

Like all exercise, I will probably skip it every now and then, but pushing myself to relax, stretch and breathe will help me and all writers, editors and fellow computer-starers in the long run.

If you’re interested in beginning your yoga journey, BB are hosting a weekly class at their gallery in Montmorency, Melbourne. ‘Yoga for Writers’ is taught by a local yoga instructor who is very familiar with the literary industry (she used to work for The Wheeler Centre, how great!!) and she is sure to get you moving and feeling better. Check it out here.



What I’m currently reading: You by Caroline Kepnes (a recommendation from one of the BB team. So far, it is wonderfully creepy)

Marketing: A Really Simple Guide

Having worked alongside the team at Busybird for around two months now, I have been surrounded by new ideas and the ins and outs of the publishing industry. Aside from it being incredibly fascinating to learn more about the publishing world and how editorial work fits into that scheme, I’ve also picked up on other aspects that are of course integral to publishing a book and creating a financially viable business.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post about Busybird that I really enjoy how their business works; I’ve focused on editing as a full time role for my future and am now considering that I might prefer something that gives me a chance to move around and try new things, especially to give my eyes a rest from staring at my computer screen all day (which is of course happening right now…). This new venture is a dabble into the world of marketing.

What do I know about marketing, you ask? Well, last week I had the fantastic opportunity to sit in on a meeting. This meeting was focused on marketing Busybird in 2017 and how to best achieve all of their goals and – without sharing all of their secrets! – I would like to pass on some of that wisdom.

Here are three important things to remember and focus on when marketing yourself or your business:

Set goals

If you’ve thought about creating a marketing plan, the first thing to consider is what you want to achieve and how long you are giving yourself to achieve it. Do you want to have your business name known? Do you want to attract a certain number of clients? It can be something simple, like reaching 300 likes on your Facebook page, or getting 1000 people to sign up to your e-newsletter. You have to set goals to be able to reach them, though always ensure that your goals reflect where you would like to be in the time frame that you’ve selected.

Be realistic

A massive downfall for new businesses or inexperienced entrepreneurs is that they are overzealous about the reality of them achieving their goals. To have a dream of achieving a huge milestone is fantastic, but you need to be realistic about how you are going to achieve what you’ve set out to achieve. The time frame here is also important; if you want to gain 1000 people to your e-newsletter subscription and you’re only meeting a handful of people once a month, you would be looking at a few years before this goal is a reality. Be realistic about your goals and you will achieve them and set new ones quicker.

Know your brand

Who are you? What does your business look like? Do you have a solid font chosen for your advertising material? These are all questions that are easily answered when you’ve figured out how to appropriately market your business. The most important thing (apart from the above two steps) is that you have a constant brand. Your audience needs to be able to find and remember who you are and they need to be aware of what you are doing. Use your work to market directly to your audience, and use tools that will best promote your work. If you are running a company that owns tennis courts and you’re looking for people to invest in the future of young tennis players, hand out pens with tennis balls as key-rings (I know I would definitely want one of those if I was at all interested in sport). Know your brand, and your audience will follow.



What I’m currently reading: Game of Thrones Book Four – A Feast for Crows

(Yes, I finally finished book three part two!)