But that's not really what I sat down to write about here. No, my major rumination has to do with a thought I had the following day, when I sat down for the lunch in the Dixson Room of the State Library of NSW. The man sitting beside me, who works for Fairfax, introduced himself, and I told him my name. 'What do you do?' he asked, and I told him that I'm a writer. 'I'm very sorry, but I'm not familiar with your work,' he replied.
We writers get that a lot. We don't feel hurt - it's just how it is. But at the same time, it's easy to wonder how far one is from being a 'known', rather than an 'unknown'. And to feel a bit despondent.
But then I spun it. I thought, if I'd been seated next to someone I knew, and who knew me, that would offer me very little in terms of improving profile, forming connections, networking, whatever you want to call it. And to be completely mercenary, that's why we go to these things, right? But here I was next to someone who didn't know me or my work (I wasn't familiar with his either, by the way) and I was suddenly in a position to create a new and possibly very useful connection. And from a networking point of view, isn't it more useful to shake hands with a stranger, have a long conversation and exchange cards at the end than yack about the same old stuff with someone we've known for years?
(Photo by Sara Fishwick)