Wednesday, October 5, 2011

" A Writers Conference (Just Bumbling Around) "

The night before (and the morning of ),  I was nervous.

It may sound silly - it's just a conference.

But, it's the self-doubting "me" . . . . . . the "me" that tells myself these people are out of my league,
     that causes me to feel this way.   

WRITE YOUR HEART OUT WASHINGTON ( hosted by Poynter Institute),
     was the title of the conference,
where several well-known Washington Post writers and reporters were scheduled to speak.

The location of the conference was at the prestigious Georgetown University Campus.

Coming from someone who never completed her college degree ( yet ),
     not only did it feel good to walk upon the historical brick walkway
                    (where many a scholar has rushed to class),
but for the short distance from 37th and O Streets
     to the Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center,
                                it actually felt like I could belong there.      

That feeling ended, however, as soon as I opened the doors to the conference.

For, I was assuming that the room would be filled with REAL writers and reporters,
     as opposed to the IMPOSTER that I often feel I am.   

I walked into the small theatre, and settled in, introducing myself to the woman, one seat over.   

Her name was Kate.  

     "What do you do?" asked Kate.  

I have always hated this question,
     because there never seems to be an appropriate answer that sums up "ME".

But, I gave her the "answer of the hour" which was,

     "Mom to my three kids and freelance writer".

Side note about Kate:  

     Kate did not return to her seat, after the first break, and even in this very moment, 
I am wondering if it is due to the accidental brush of my hand across her, um, "BUM", 
as she got up from her chair.  

Anyhow . . . . . . 

I spent the next eight hours listening to some pretty awesome writers, 
     but more importantly ( I realized, as the day wore on ), some pretty awesome PEOPLE.   

And, as I listened to their stories, and laughed at their jokes; 
     smiled along, as they made fun of their imperfections,
I discovered, to my surprise, that I absolutely DID belong there.  

Sure, there were writers with PH.D's and Pulitzer Prizes, 
     writers who have traveled the world and written books, 
writers who have had meaningful conversations with people, well-known, 
as well as with nameless faces living in a world that few of us COULD know. 
     But at the HEART, we are all the same.  

We are life observers and people connectors,
     in search of a "moment", and recognizing when it's there.  

Self-doubt, always looming in the shadows.   

But, that's what keeps us humble . . . . . . and aware.  

And, let us not forget PROCRASTINATION, procrastination,  

Or, as I like to call it - PREDESTINATION.  

Because, we WILL  . . . . . .  get . . . . . .  there.  

We are truth searchers, story tellers - we are writers.  

Roy Peter Clark, of the Poynter Institute said,

"Writers are people who write."

Washington Post reporter, Anne Hull said,

"We, sometimes, (as writers) all just bumble around." 

Washington Post columnist, Gene Weingarten mentioned that one of his favorite quotes is: 

                                                   " The meaning of life is that it ends." 

So, I think it's safe to say: 

"Writers are people who (bumble around and) write (until they die)."  


I DO belong . . . . . .  HERE.   



1 comment:

  1. I also dread the question, "What do you do?" since blogging may be considered amateurish. But that IS what I do. That is the honest answer to that question. I live and I collect funny stories (mostly at my own expense), and I write those stories and experiences down for the amusement of my friends.
    A friend of mine came over last night with some amusing tales of woe, and together we decided every ridiculous and/or unpleasant experience is just a story waiting to be written.