April, Writing

TRAVEL WRITING. I jabbed the headline nervously, green type on newsprint, showing it to Becca, who immediately encouraged me to go. Despite my massive writing inferiority complex, this time centering around the required 2-page writing sample, I went.

The writing workshop this morning was part of the Get Lit Festival, a week-long celebration of writing and reading that I haven’t participated in nearly as much as I should’ve, these past few years in post-graduate Spokane. And we actually didn’t end up critiquing each other’s samples, so it wasn’t a workshop so much as a lecture and Q&A session with Julian Smith, a bona fide travel writer with an enviable resume. I wasn’t too bummed about the lack of workshopping, because I was, as I told Mr. Smith at the start of the session, mostly looking for a jumpstart. I haven’t written anything creative, excluding blog posts and emails (which I do exclude), for the better part of five years. Just sitting in a classroom and taking notes, listening to someone who loves writing, was immensely inspiring for me.

In high school I had a travel writing “phase”, reading through all the Best American Travel Writing anthology versions they had at the library, often plopping myself down for hours at a time on the carpet in front of the Travel section at Barnes & Noble. I think of myself then, high school me, looking (slightly) younger and possibly innocent-er, paging through guidebooks and stories and daydreaming. Ten years later, I feel a little pained at how much promise she had, at the decisions she could’ve made differently – she should’ve packed up her bags and explored! But you know, ten years from now, I am quite sure that I’ll look back at myself at twenty-seven and laugh at how old I thought I was, but how young I actually am. I have plenty of time and able-bodied-ness and general privilege that I can travel and write about it, or do whatever I want, really, and I should be thankful for that. I am, honestly. But I am a little sad about the spark I had back then that I have difficulty restarting these days.

Relatedly, kind of, I’m spending a week in New York City in about a month! Wahoo.

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One thought on “April, Writing

  1. Vividhunter says:

    I went through this as well. Especially when I was at university, I felt like I never wrote creatively anymore and that the times when ideas would just come spontaneously and easily were gone. I think that it’s easier to write when we’re younger and our imaginations are really overactive and we’re learning things at school that spark them into gear.

    Later it becomes something that needs to be practised, and a habit that needs to be cultivated. I think you should include blogging as part of writing, because you are forming that habit of sitting down and getting words out.

    If you like travel writing, you don’t need to be published to do it, just write stuff on your blog and you’re already doing it ^^

    There are lots of sites online that provide workshops and support. I’m tossing up MatadorU’s travel writing and photography program, because they have a good reputation and seem to have a lot of material.

    Good luck with it ^^

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