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.