Back Home – Adjusting to Life After a Residency – Printing the Book

Hi everyone,

I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted an update in a little while–I spent my last days at the residency taking everything in, and immersing myself in my work. It was really hard to leave Iceland, and particularly the Gullkistan residency. The cabin became my home, and although I was only there for one month, it felt like it had been my home for years. I’ll miss waking up to light snowfall, and finding new little trails to explore. I’ll miss the big windows, and view of Hekla, the snow-covered volcano. Now, after three days of travelling, I have made it back home to tropical Cairns.

Let me tell you–it feels bizarre. Nice, but really strange. It’s strange that my whole life doesn’t revolve around my writing anymore. This morning, while having breakfast, I was talking to my family, rather than scribbling down ideas, notes, and pieces of dialogue. After breakfast, rather than sitting down to edit, I took my clothes out of my suitcase to wash, and then sent an email to my university about enrolment (post about this coming soon). I’m scared that my focus is shifting too much, but at the same time, it feels really nice to breathe, and take a little step back. I just need to find a good balance.

During my last days in Iceland, I finished my second draft, and decided to get my manuscript printed so that I could do my next round of edits on paper. I used Createspace to get it printed in book form, to help me get a better feel for the pacing of the story, and to help to keep me motivated while editing. It’s not available online, as I’m going to try the traditional publishing route (after many more rounds of editing, of course). I’ll still write a post about my experience with getting the book printed, and the quality of it, for those of you interested in self-publishing.

I’ll also be writing a post to call for beta readers in the near future. I’m a little terrified, but excited to get some helpful feedback. Everything is happening so quickly.

I promise I won’t disappear again any time soon!

Thanks for reading,

– Tamara

The Connotations of Ink on Paper

Hello everyone,

I’m currently anxiously awaiting my first order of print copies of Spinebind Magazine! (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, click the hyperlink). Initially it was going to be a purely online magazine, set up as a kind of flip-book format to view in the browser, as well as a downloadable PDF. As the release date drew nearer, however, I started getting emails asking me if there was any way I could do a print run. Well, of course there was a way.

I had to completely change the design software, and therefore basically started from scratch. As a writer, I should know by now that first drafts are always awful. The second time I designed it, it looked so much more professional, and I was extremely thankful for having to start over.

When I talked to some friends about putting the magazine into print, many of them reacted in the same way – “That’s so exciting! It’ll be so much more real.” It was refreshing to see that in this age of screens and virtual reality, physical reality in the form of a book or magazine is still highly regarded.

Another common response was that it would be a lot more credible if it were in print. This got me thinking about the connotations of actual ink on actual paper. There’s something about the “product” passing through people’s hands to be created, packed, and shipped that adds an air of sophistication and importance.

Spinebind will still be available to view for free on the website because my main goal is to get as many people to see the work inside as possible, but it is also going to be something that can sit on a bookshelf, or a coffee table, or a waiting room. It’s something that can be shared while sitting down for coffee, not only by sharing a link, and it would still be around if the internet stopped working.

I understand that there’s an environmental issue with printing on paper and am definitely going to look into recycled and sustainable printing in the future, but for now I don’t expect many copies to be printed. I don’t even know how the future of the magazine is going to look, but for now I’m happy doing it as a hobby, beside my studies.

Most people will probably still view the magazine online, and that’s totally fine. I just found it really uplifting that, as a young generation, we are still very much grounded in the physical world, and haven’t lost the use of our senses other than sight. Smell, touch, and sound are all senses that are engaged when I pick up a book or a magazine.

I will definitely write a post on the arrival of the first order, and on my experience with self-publishing a magazine in the near future.

Thank you so much for coming along for the ride,

Yours,
Tamara Drazic