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.