I had the privilege of attending a reading, a writing workshop, and a book talk–the first and last of which included a question-and-answer session with author, Eileen Myles.
That’s the pretty neat thing about being a student: having access to these events. I’ve never been able to afford to attend a writers’ conference/retreat, but since I’ve been a student, I’ve been to workshops, gone on journalism field trips, and taken classes that have helped me become a better writer. And it isn’t just the solitary knowledge, but the communal experience, that has helped get me there.
I’ve met so many wonderful and interesting people because of my writing–people I would’ve never met otherwise–that I could never imagine my life without it.
Of course, being a writer, the workshop is always my favorite event (where there’s always one little upstart who doesn’t play by the rules), but I love the Q-&-A sessions where the writer is just connecting with her audience. I only hope that someday, if I am ever called upon to speak extemporaneously about my work and the craft, I am as engaging as Eileen.
One of the many things she said that resonated with me was that “you may not be graceful in life, but you can be graceful on a page.” I found her complete lack of self-consciousness endearing, for I’m that girl who worries about her lipstick being wrong.
I covered these events for the student newspaper, so when it is published, I will post it below (and I am holding back a lot of good stuff for the article).
My advice to all writers: Take advantage of every opportunity to meet one.