I’m gearing up for SiWC 2011 (leaving on Wednesday actually, yay!), and as usual I’m super stoked for the conference and all the workshops, presenters and kibitzing with other writers—lots of whom have become friends by now, my eighth year. (Ohmigoodness, do you know how wildly affirming and inspiring and plain ol’ fun it is to be in the midst of 600+ people who all share your obsession? I live in a small town, so perhaps the huge gathering of like-but-very-different minds is that much more amazing, but it is good, good stuff—worth every penny I pay every year. It fires me up, re-energizes and refocuses me for the next 12 months, every time.

That all said, as much as I relish the conference itself, an equal draw is the time I’ll spend with three other writers—Barb Cameron, Angela Dorsey, and Jen Brubacher. While Jen is unable to attend SiWC, because of the way her trip to Canada worked this year, she is able to make our annual pre-conference sushi and gab-fest—a group meeting of what we informally call Woodstockers 5—a name with a story behind it that makes sense only to us.

Thursday night, we’ll meet at a certain restaurant that’s become tradition, slide our bottoms onto bright-coloured satin cushions, and commence blabbing our heads off over our past year’s literary successes, woes, accomplishments, and challenges.

Then we’ll pull out our Woodstocker 5 Goals and share what we followed through with—and confess what we didn’t. A couple of us will then go onto elaborate about plans for November 2011 through October 2012 (our writing year has started to mimic the months that pass from one SiWC to the next). A couple of us (or at least one of us, me) will have to share our plans later, via a small online writers’ forum, after the conference has done its magic and put wild dreams in our (my) head.

Writing is by necessity a solitary pursuit and like a lot of writers, I’m okay with that—thrive in seclusion, actually. Need a lot of alone time. However, over years I’ve noticed that I write better—and am much more prolific—if I have a few close writing friends to celebrate and commiserate with. And to give me the occasional swift, motivational kick. (Thankfully, the boot is usually just a figurative.)

If you’re feeling in need of a bit of motivation, I can’t encourage you enough: try to find a writing workshop or conference to take part in over the next months or track down a writing friend or two to start meeting semi-regularly with. There can be a danger to spending too much time talking about writing and not doing enough writing (a post for another day, perhaps!), but for some of us, too much isolation is just as inspiration-killing.

p.s. I’d love to hear what works best to keep you on track with your writing goals (so I can steal your method, lol).

p.p.s. I think I’ve written on this topic before. What can I say? Sometimes I need reminding of what “works” to keep me working!

4 thoughts on “Motivation

  1. Well, Ev… if it’s any help to you… I always enjoy reading what you have to say. And SIWC sounds like it could be a blast, all truth be told. I sadly have to say that I’ve simply had very little to write about, and so my writing has lacked… so at least for the time being, don’t be stealing my methods of motivation 😀 Maybe it’s the lack of alone time… maybe it’s just needing that figurative kick in the pants… But I’m looking forwards to hearing about the conference afterwards 🙂


  2. Wow, I can’t believe you’ve been going for EIGHT years now! Have I really missed five years of that conference? It seems unbelievable, but it must be true.

    Wish I could be there for the sushi and everything else. I miss that conference, and I miss you. Have fun!


  3. LOL, Lewis–well, it may not be a help to me per se, but I certainly love hearing that you enjoy reading what I have to say. 😀

    A lack of alone time is definitely a creativity-killer. I know I just wrote about finding like minds to spur you on–and I do think it’s important–but it’s even more critical to carve out time for your writing and/or other artistic pursuits. Create a schedule for the week–arrange times to sneak off by yourself and get to work. Your inner artist needs it!

    And yes, SiWC is a blast. I will definitely give a post-conference update.


  4. Dear Holli,

    It is unbelievable, isn’t it?

    It would be great if you could be at SiWC again sometime! In the meantime, I will definitely raise a toast to you (or have a big yummy bite of tuna! ;)).

    And yes, I think it’s been eight years for me. Or seven . . . You don’t perchance know the first year YOU attended do you? My first was the year after that.


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