Friday, 2 September 2011

Goodbye and Thank You from Meg


This is my final blog for the SAS for the time being at least. I’m a far from ideal blogger as I rarely get chance to read other blogs and comment on them. The pressure on my time is currently increasing so there’s no hope of change in the immediate future.

One major cause is the need to make money! As readers will know from my previous blogs, I’m a part-time writer, running a youth theatre as well and keeping financially afloat by doing a lot of free-lance projects which are writing related. Unfortunately, as we know all too well, funding to the arts and schools is tight or, in some areas, almost non-existent, and the impact is big on free-lancers such as myself. In the past, I would have weathered the storm but as I am, to put it euphemistically, making the transition back to a single lifestyle, I can’t rely on a partner’s income to help with the shortfall. That’s the bad news and it does make me wonder about how much children’s literature (and literature in general!) is kept afloat by partners with bigger incomes! I certainly know of one author whose husband says he rather likes seeing himself as a patron of the arts!

The good news is that I have fallen on my feet in my quest for another part-time job to give me some more regular income. I’m becoming a part-time school librarian, job-sharing with someone who has (we hope!) all the technical know-how that we need. What I’ve been employed to provide is the love of children’s literature and the va-va-voom – apparently! At the time I was appointed, I felt like I had about as much va-va-voom as a dead rat but I have at least begun to twitch now! We’re hoping to start a children’s book group within the school and get into reading for the Oxfordshire Book Award and perhaps even the Carnegie. All brilliant ideas for things you wish school librarians would do (apart from employ you as visiting authors for a very large fee and plug your latest book to the exclusion of all others!) will be very gratefully received. Of course I hope we’ll be able to have lots of author visits but you all know about budgets...

So...I won’t be giving up writing. The current plan is to spend 4 days a week being the youth theatre/librarian person, leaving space to carry on writing and keep my fingers in some at least of my other pies (the ones that are still solvent principally!) With some midsummer enthusiasm, I started a new novel. I hope I’ll have enough va-va-voom to continue it – and, with heady optimism now, at least to read the ABBA blog in the future, if not contribute to it!

Thank you for reading my various posts in the past and especially to those who have commented. I’ve really enjoyed the posts I’ve read here. Long may you all keep on blogging.

20 comments:

catdownunder said...

Good luck Meg. I will miss your contributions. Thankyou for those that you did.
I learn a lot from this blog and I know it takes time to contribute to it - so thankyou everyone else as well.

Stroppy Author said...

Good luck with both the job and the lifestyle, Meg. It *is* hard making a living entirely from writing-related activities and without any second income, but it's possible - I've been doing it for years. But it's also very rewarding - go for it!

Martin said...

Very best wishes for the future.

Joan Lennon said...

The world needs librarians! And theatre!
Thank you for your 4 days a week, and good luck with writing in the other 3

JO said...

You are in for a roller-coaster time. But the world will reshape, and then it will be exciting to discover new possibilities - and maybe rediscover some old ones.

Good luck.

Sue Purkiss said...

Good luck, Meg - I'm sure you've got all the va-va-voom you're going to need! And that sounds a lovely job to have as a part-time back up, so congratulations on finding that!

The Time Sculptor said...

Goodbyes always make me sad. As a fairly new blogger I can't claim to have known your posts well, but I have enjoyed the ones I've read very much, so very best wishes for the future.

People will obviously miss you and wonder how things are going, so how about writing an occasional guest blog (even if it's just an annual update!) to keep in touch? It might only be a brief postcard from outside the blogosphere, but it would mean farewell rather than goodbye. Just a thought...
Jane Gray

InTel XCOMS said...

nice article thank you

Katherine Langrish said...

All my best wishes Meg and I hope our paths will cross before long. Kath xxx

Emma Barnes said...

Lovely article, Meg, and all the best to you.

Are you a librarian at secondary or primary level? It is such a vital job, I feel, because very few teachers or parents have the time to keep up with the range of children's books out there, and to take an interest in matching up children's tastes with the right book for them. It's especially complicated because children are changing all the time, so their needs and tastes are changing all the time, so they are always needing to be steered into the next stage. Otherwise it is so easy to get overwhelmed and give up.

And with library and book-store closures, school as a source of books - for pleasure as well as information - get ever more vital.

Hmm...maybe I should go and train to be a librarian!

Lynda Waterhouse said...

Meg ,I have enjoyed and been inspired by reading about your creative projects and look forward to reading your new novel.
I too have to work in a school three days a week in order to keep a roof over my head and my writing dreams alive. Good Luck!!!

Linda said...

Good luck with the new work: I think school librarians are as essential to children's development as teachers! If it's a secondary school, your first challenge might be to ensure the library isn't seen as a geek-realm (don't get me wrong, I like geeks!) by getting lots of people in. Does it have a good non-fiction section for those who think they don't like 'story-books'?

jane eagland said...

All the best, Meg! I think you'll be a great children's librarian. I hope it all goes well for you.

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Appreciate where you're coming from Meg... having just spent the better part of a Sunday scanning artwork and preparing a post for Tuesday on Shaun Tan's work. Your posts have always been thoughtful and thought provoking. And with all your activities and involvement in theatre as well bouts of resident writer and trips to foreign schools, I've continually admired your ability to put socks on an octopus and still manage to write!!! Your stint in a library will be a huge gain for any school. So I wish you well and lots of continued energy! This is not goodbye to SAS just to blogging for a while. We'll miss you.

Miriam Halahmy said...

A lovely post and farewell Meg. Good luck with your new job and everything you do. Hope we meet sometime!

Catherine Johnson said...

Good luck for the future Meg, all best wishes for your new job, cxx

Nicky said...

I think what you do already is amazing- good luck with it all, Nicky

Leila said...

Meg, it sounds like a wonderful, perfect job. And I am sure you will br brilliant at it. What children need to get them loving reading isn't lots of expensive author visits - it's someone in their school who loves books and reading and shows them how to love those things too. You'll make much more of a difference as a school librarian than any one author ever could.

Penny Dolan said...

Meg, I have always enjoyed & valued your ABBA posts just because they came from a slightly different creative angle.

Will miss you seeing here, but wish you many good times in your new role (which you'll do wonderfully!)and every satisfaction with your new writing project and new pattern of life,

Nicola Morgan said...

Massive respect and good luck, Meg - you deserve it. Nx