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.

“Every adult was once a child and the child inside them never completely disappears.”

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