Calling All Emerging Writers!

Umm, yes, please!  Free SF Writers Conference admission ($625), count me in.  And, you too. If you’re an “emerging writer” check out the scholarship submission details. Since it’s a shot in the dark, I don’t mind sharing the love. If you win, you owe me a firsthand account of the whole experience.

Here’s my “Why I Write” blurb I just spit out. One of my major rules for entering this kind of thing is to dive in head first, not overthink it, and see what happens…

Why I Write

I write because there are words inside me trying to get out. If I do not write them down, they swirl around my head, a chaotic mess. I write because each word that touches paper, or the pixels of a computer screen, lightens the weight I carry, letting me sleep at night. By letting my words out, I think more clearly, I connect more easily with the world around me. Writing is the home that roots me in the world outside my head.

I write in journals, notebooks, Word, Pages, WordPress, emails, text messages. When I do not write, I have the jitters of a sedentary athlete. I cannot think straight, my brain taps anxiously. Writing is a daily part of my existence. Sometimes, a day sneaks by too busy or too tired for my words. Those days feel off, terrible, somehow wasted.

Inexplicably, I went years without really writing.

As a child, I wrote all the time, half-finished stories read to friends and family, left abandoned in little piles of paper in all my drawers and special boxes decorated with ribbons and glitter. As a teenager, I wrote poetry, angst-ridden heaps of words about love and life traced in spiraling mazes around the edges of book covers. In college, I wrote passionately about human rights, true tales of torture, human trafficking, sweat shops, international relations.

Then, I graduated to write nothing, or at least what felt like nothing.

Years went by where all I wrote were the economic analysis reports required of my job. Ten plus pages a day left no room for creative writing, save for the occasional journal entry about homeless people in Berkeley or a string of words to inspire me later. Finally, came the year on the train, commuting from Sacramento to Berkeley, when boredom drove me to write again. Another half-finished story, a passing hobby for the train alone.  Those years left dark and jumbled spaces in my brain.

Finally, a shift in jobs, an inspiring book, the birth of a blog, and Nanowrimo all converged to motivate me to write again. I have not looked back. Words pour out daily, my therapy in a world that often makes my head hurt.  I write to cope, to live, to process, to escape, and most importantly, to dream. My words give me a space where life can be anything, where I can crawl away and live inside my head.  Perhaps most importantly, my words give me hope for a future where I write to live, not just live to write.

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4 thoughts on “Calling All Emerging Writers!

  1. Not just “like,” but love! I can’t wait to hear the stories of this latest adventure in writing! Go, Olivia, Go! 🙂

  2. bwtaylor75 says:

    That whole “Why I Write” bit is why you’ll eventually punch through. BTW, love that you dove in head first. Sometimes it’s better to go with your heart instead of brain. Just don’t forget to come up for air. Wishing you the best of luck.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Haha, yes, coming up for air is important. Actually have had to stop writing quite a bit to survive my work stress. I hate that it’s a trade-off. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

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