There is always, without fail, at least one other event on when you should-be-doing or want-to-do X, Y, or Z. You know that you want to be at such and such, but then you realise that you’ve already got something in the calendar which you should be/want to be doing.
And then F.O.M.O. creeps in.
F.O.M.O is the Fear Of Missing Out.* It’s what led Geraldine in The Vicar of Dibley to eat too many Christmas dinners. Well, that and the fact that she finds herself unable to disappoint anyone who invites her. Not a very literary example but an example nonetheless.
This month is rife with F.O.M.O particularly with literary events for me personally, so get your diaries out and see if you can squeeze in any events will ensure the fear doesn’t get to you too:
15th September – Supporting the Next Generation: Young Writers Outside Formal Education – London
Not so much a literary event in the more traditional sense, but definitely important for the future of literature. If you don’t follow the work that NALD do, then take a look now!
20th September – Book Slam – London
If you haven’t been along to a Book Slam event before, do it this month. With the inspirational Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie among others on the line-up, I’m certain it’ll be a good introduction to the wonderful world of Book Slam.
22nd – 25th September – Small Wonder: THE Short Story Festival – Lewes, East Sussex
This is the one I really wish I could go to. Not only am I an admirer, writer, reader and editor of the short story form, I would love to be there as the weekend-long festival gives the opportunity to story-tell under the stars, listen to my favorite writers (including Naomi Alderman, Sarah Waters, Joe Dunthorne and Ali Smith among many more) and there’s even Harvey’s beer stocked in the bar! With all of that and more, the festival is opened by the Litmus event which involves Alison MacLeod, who I was very lucky to have as one of my tutors during my university years.
24th September – 8th October – To The Lighthouse – Cambridge
One I nearly missed off this list, but not to be missed! Some fantastic readings are planned along with cinema, theatre, art, talks, exhibitions and workshops which draw from Woolf’s novel on this trip To The Lighthouse.
30th September – 16th October – Ilkley Literature Festival – Ilkley, West Yorkshire
I’m still hopeful I can get back ooop North for some of this – particularly for the event with fellow Chi Uni graduate and inspirational author, Isabel Ashdown.
Around this time of year I begin to yearn. I long for more learning, for new and interesting projects; I yearn for my university years. I’m pretty certain that’s because I had long periods of time to read, write and generally create without the guilt of responsibility, chores or bills, however, literary events give me the opportunity to revel in the escapism and inspiration which they can provide and I miss from the early days. Have you got any particular events that you know of or are involved with that should be shared so we don’t all suffer from F.O.M.O?
*With thanks to Heather for introducing me to the theory of F.O.M.O!