Freelance writing can be a lonely career choice. It is a solitary occupation, often done at home, minus co-workers. There is no conversation over the water cooler. There are no chats about your weekend during smoke breaks (not that I smoke or ever have). You certainly interact with people; clients, publishers, editors or other writers, but not necessarily every day. Sometimes not even every week.
I have been spending a little more time on my own as of late. It is good, as I have had more time dedicated to writing and have burned through many more books on my to-be-read pile. But social interaction is a good thing too. And as the days quickly get shorter I am all too aware that this will curtail time spent outside and potentially amongst others. I may be a sturdy Canadian lass, but when the mercury drops below 0°C, I hightail it back to my slippers and vitamin D supplements.
So after popping my first vitamin D of the season and checking prices on light therapy lamps, my next stop was looking into workshops and events for writers in my neck of the woods. Wouldn’t you know, but there are a few exciting things for writers in London, Ontario.
For starters, the London Public Library and Western University recently announced that they have a writer-in-residence this year. Gary Barwin is a writer, poet, composer, multimedia artist, educator and the first writer-in-residence that London has seen since 2008. Pretty cool in my books. And also very encouraging. He has office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Central library from 4-7 pm and at Western University from 10 am – 2pm. In addition to that, he will be also be leading several workshops throughout the year. One caught my eye entitled “Getting it Out There”.
I think it might be time to get me out there and attend.
Another way to get out there might be to take my courage in hand and sneak in the door at one of the London Writers Society monthly meetings. They are held the third Thursday of every month. And No, I haven’t been there yet, for those of you who are shaking your heads in disbelief. They were established in 2007 according to their website and meet at Landon Library. With Landon a hop and skip from me, you would think it would be easy, but I guess life gets in the way of life sometimes.
Perhaps it is time to contact my babysitter and check her schedule.
I have also come across another event that sounds terribly exciting for literary folk. London will play host to WORDS: The Literary and Creative Arts Festival, an inaugural festival for writers, poets and other creative thinkers from October 24th – 26th, 2014. It sounds like a fabulous weekend event suitable for any creative types. There will be sessions with local artists like Paul Cavanagh ( I just finished reading his book “After Helen” this weekend), Guy Vanderhaege (won 2 Governor General awards, Canada Reads Award, a Canadian Author Award, a Faber Award, and he is an Officer of the Order of Canada, amongst many other accolades), Joan Barfoot, Diana Tamblyn, Gary Barwin (makes sense knowing he was just elected London’s writer-in-residence), Mark Kingwell, Joe Sacco, and plenty more. There will be something for anyone that fiddles with words and I want to be at every session and every location!
My biggest problem is how to fit it all in and celebrate my daughter’s 8th birthday at the same time. Ugh. Timing is going to be tricky. I might just have to make it happen though.
I think it is high time I step out and expand my networking and support circles. How do you keep in the loop?