Hibernation, Depression and the Digital World

I’ve been doing a bad job of blogging this past month. It’s not that I haven’t been reading plenty of interesting books but I’ve been trying to keep my focus on the book that I’m actually writing.

Last week, I came out of hibernation to attend the AATE/ALEA (Australian Association of Teachers of English and Australian Literacy Educators Association) conference in Adelaide. I’d like to say the conference was fun but it was demoralising. I had a tiny turnout for my session on historical fiction as it was programmed alongside 16 (! yes! SIXTEEN!) other workshops at the end of a long day of action-packed conferencing. And my own personal humiliation aside, I was depressed by the emphasis in many of the conference sessions. So many of the workshops and papers focussed on media – multi-modal textual practice/virtual worlds/digital storytelling/digital doorways/digital this, that and the other…

Digital? I’d always thought digital was about representing information as numbers. Or fingers. Since when did the word ‘digital’ represent approaches to literature? I left Adelaide feeling seriously worried about the future of the good old book.

Perhaps I should go back to hibernating, or take up arithmetic (think digital) in a big way, or get really cranky and start blogging more often.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Books are windows into other ways of being.”

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