Not a poem or fiction piece this time, but a snapshot of myself as a writer/person/human being.
This past Saturday I attended Butte College’s 7th Annual WordSpring Creative Writing Conference at the main Butte campus outside Chico. It was the second official writing-centered event I’ve attended, the first being the Willamette Writers Conference way back in August 2010.
As an introvert and a person with a social anxiety disorder, it’s not always easy mustering up the courage to attend public events like this. Fortunately, my partner is a writer as well, so we went together, a pair of shared but opposite anxieties.
One thing I always remember when among other writers is that writers are an odd bunch. Some had articulate voices imbued with a frantic energy almost painful to listen to. Others wore clashing outfits and nitpicked over the writing-themed pins offered at the registration table. College students debated between the meat or vegetarian tamales at lunch.
I felt like I was in college again, and it wasn’t a pleasant feeling.
It was a small conference, and the workshops were more intimate as a result. Some new information, some old information, and there were some enlightening moments or snippets of inspiration. Overall, I got a lot of promising writing and laughs out of it, and I’m hoping to go again.
A note to fellow introverts who feel crippled by their mental illness and want so desperately to write: attend a writing conference. It will be awkward and occasionally cringe-inducing, but if you can find time to write amidst all the people and information, it’s worth it.
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