Back when I was in graduate school, I met Terry Tempest Williams, which thrilled me as I knew her from her books to be a most brilliant writer. I told her I was a graduate student, studying writing.
She put down her pen and the book she was signing, looked directly at me and said solemnly, “It takes great courage to write.”
Of course I agreed with her, because Terry Tempest Williams yo. But I really didn’t know what she meant until many years later when I started writing in earnest.
Now I know, it absolutely takes great courage to write. It requires vulnerability. It means saying things you believe in firmly, but which other people disagree with just as firmly. It means creating something, which is work, no matter how you slice it.
I rallied my courage a year and a half after beginning my blog and attended the Solstice Writing Retreat in lovely Midway, Utah. It was a turning point for me to a) call myself a writer and b) meet other writers.
I left my high-maintenance children with uncle extraordinaire, Joe, and spent three amazing days belly laughing, learning, and meeting my writing heroes Ann and Louise, who were far more hilarious and wonderful in person than I ever imagined them. I sang a few bars of “The Wilkie, Wilkinson Center” to John Bytheway himself, and I ate ice cream at Dean Hughes’ home. I mean seriously, people. Aside from the Hawaiian islands, I had found paradise.
Even better, I left with ideas and friendships that gave me the courage and confidence to write for a bigger audience.
Solstice is happening in April this year, with an early bird registration discount before February 28, 2015. It’s going to be the shiz and I want all writers everywhere to come and experience it.