It is the day after the two-day 2015 Ontario Writers’ Conference and I’m . . . exhausted. The high of the last two days (and last few months in preparation) has now passed, and while I feel uplifted and filled up with excitement at all the writing-related possibilities my future might hold, the reality has now set in—I actually have to get to the work of it.
So I’m tired. But it’s the most wonderful kind of tired you can imagine. The kind I think you would feel at the bottom of a mountain you’re about to climb.
After my two days of learning, listening and sharing, I now have an important job to do—I can’t let this momentum go to waste and melt into the background of my life. For three consecutive years I’ve looked forward to and enjoyed the annual conferences and everything they’ve offered. I’ve been built up and challenged.
Some of the highlights from my experience this year include all the takeaways I’ve received: pro tips on the writing process, a deeper understanding of the importance of social media, and a wealth of recommended resources (print and human alike). I received encouragement and affirmation from facilitators and fellow attendees.
Over and over, people reinforced the idea that what I might have to say, write, and share does matter. I’ve felt so at home amongst the roomfuls of people who are like-minded but otherwise strangers—my “fellow weirdos,” as Anne MacLachlan likes to call them. I’ve walked away with inspiration from such amazingly wonderful writers, witnesses, and mentors as Wayson Choy, Richard Scarsbrook, Erin Thomas, Paula Todd, and Karen Connelly, to name a few. Wayson’s personal challenge—“I want to read you!”—echoes in my mind and heart. I’ve experienced the love of a larger, non-biological family, thanks to my fellow OWC committee members and conference attendees.
No words can express my gratitude for all the above and more.
So, to close, I hope that I can continue to contribute to (at least in some small way) and learn from the Ontario Writers’ Conference experience. I will “keep writing” because I must.
Lisa is a mom of three boys aged 5 and under. She is a teacher and an aspiring writer. She enjoys reading, yoga, Zumba and catching up on Game of Thrones and Scandal episodes. She considers herself an improv-cook and often daydreams about transforming her kids’ playroom into an old-fashioned library. Cookies and books, preferably together, are her weaknesses.