Sunday, July 15, 2012

An Introvert's Take on Write Canada

by Linda Hall

Write Canada has been over for a couple of weeks now and I am still thinking about it. I am still thinking about the many, many things I learned. I have yet to sit down with Wordpress, although that is on my things to do. I am still thinking about the worship, always one of my favorite times of the day. And even though on that first morning I did not feel like jumping around and dancing, it was wonderful.
I am thinking about and already missing the specialness of my own group of ‘fiction intensive’ writers. I came as the “expert” (“Expert” in quotes), but came away enriched and taught by them.
A few other memories: I was SO proud of my friend, Deb who won the top of the heap book award. If any of you haven’t read The Third Grace, go online and order it right this minute. I was privileged to be able to read an advance copy. I was blown away.
Being by nature an introvert (as the title of this blog suggests), I usually prefer a single room. But God gave me the most wonderful roomie! It was a delight to get to know her. If I had paid the extra bit to get a room all to myself, I would have really missed out.
I loved talking to the writers at meals and in the lounge and on the grounds. If you happened to attend the panel I was on, you would have experienced my meltdown. I walked in determined not to cry, not to cry, not to cry. Best laid plans, I suppose. (Just read Brian’s blog which follows mine here. He writes about crying and not wanting to.)
One of the things I like most about being at writers’ conferences and yet the thing which keeps me away at the same time, is introvertness. At a writers’ conference, I feel that I’m with ‘my own kind.’ I can relax. If I need to retreat to my room for awhile, everyone will understand. But by nature, introverts shun large groups of people. Hell for an introvert is walking into a crowded party where you don’t know a soul.
And most of us who choose this profession are by nature introverts. The discipline of writing requires long stretches of aloneness. It’s not a field for extroverts. Good books are not written by committees.
Yet - Write Canada is a friendly place. We introverts need not fear.
Well, I’ve gone on long enough with my Write Canada lovefest - Congratulations on a great ten years!


Diana said...

Linda, I cannot express how wonderful it was to be in your class of "intensives." I learned a huge amount. And about your meltdown. It was a very reserved meltdown. And I was so touched by your willingness to be vulnerable in front of all of us. (And the other panelists too, each shared in a vulnerable way) I came away feeling, "Seasoned authors are people like me. I'm a person like them. They struggle. I'm struggling. If they can get to where they are, which is further along the continuum of authorness as it were, I can move along the continuum too."

Thank you, again, Linda, for being there and giving of yourself.

Janet Sketchley said...

I gained a lot from that panel too. It's one of the ones I recommend people who didn't get to the conference order on CD. The fact that even seasoned writers struggle is something beginners and middlers need to know. If we think it's something we'll have escaped by the time we get seasoned, we'll be in for a rude shock.

I've been thinking about Write! Canada. It's the only place I don't feel like an introvert, because I feel like I belong.

Peter Black said...

Linda, I was one of the poor souls who missed the conference this year. I appreciate your reflections and also Diana's reponse -- especially since she was in your intensive class.
You sparked a little introspection on my part as to the extroversion vis-a-vis introversion aspects of my own personality in relation to my writing life.

Linda Hall said...

Thanks for your comments all. I've been away for the past few days and unable to read the comments- but thanks for your thoughts.

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