the literary life 3/7/10
I went to this awesome Literary Women conference in Long Beach yesterday. I was lucky to get a scholarship through pen, so I could attend. It was an inspiring day of listening to writers discuss their process, their struggles, and their inspirations. The whole day had a calming affect on me. There were over 700 people there. Here's a link to their website and the authors showcased this year: http://www.literarywomen.org/
Some cool people I met/listened to:
Jincy Willett, author The Writing Class (it's a mystery novel; I bought it and am currently reading it; about 30 pages in and it's fabulous so far--full of wit, good storytelling, and writing advice). Here's a link to her website: http://www.jincywillett.com/journal/
Padma Viswanathan, author of The Toss of a Lemon (a novel set in south India over 100 years ago and inspired by stories in her family). Here's a link to her website: http://www.padmaviswanathan.com/
Kay Jamison, author of An Unquiet Mind (she spoke eloquently and movingly about her struggles with bipolar disorder). Here's a link to her bio: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/psychiatry/specialty_areas/moods/expert_team/jamison.html
Something is shifting and evolving about my sense of the writing life. It's becoming more ordinary and routine. Being around hundreds of book lovers, I suddenly realized words are not my passion alone. Of course, this is true, but sometimes I forget. As writers, our work is solitary so much of the time. I also realized that writers are all totally different. Every writer struggles and changes over time. These transitions are "normal." There is no normal way to be a writer. In the end, we live our lives, witness the world, and do the work. We do it because we love reading and books and stories and words. Sometimes I try to box myself into a genre or project. Yesterday, in the company of so much talent, I found myself letting go--found myself appreciating the diversity of perspectives out there. It's a relief to know there's no one way to do the writing life.