“It’ll get better.”
“Here’s something you could try.”
“This worked for me.”
“Why don’t you talk to ________ ?”
It was this kind of encouragement that got me hooked on the Write Canada Conference last year.
Now, I’m not one of these extraverted types who love to mingle and will have told you their life story within five minutes if asked. No, I prefer to sit quietly in a corner and do my own thing. I need my space. And so it was with some trepidation that I even signed up to go at all.
When the time came to go, I would gladly have stayed home except for two things: I had paid my money and, in a rare moment of bravery, had asked if others needed a ride. Now, three other ladies were counting on me to get them to that conference. I couldn’t let them down.
And so, off I went, picking up my first passenger right on time. This was uncomfortable. I had to talk to a stranger! Sorry, Mom.
Once the car was fully loaded with the other two women, I began to relax. The three of them, although they had never met each other, were soon discussing their various works and lives. I didn’t have to say a whole lot – blessing number one. As a matter of fact, I was so engrossed in listening that I missed an exit on the highway and we ended up taking a long detour through some wonderful countryside – another blessing I would have missed had I gone alone.
The blessings continued. I met a lot of wonderful authors who had experienced the same struggles I had. And, I learned that talking about one’s work is not as frightful as I had thought. Encouragement abounded. I was even able to encourage some others.
Did I make full use of all the conference had to offer? No, I didn’t, not because I wasn’t encouraged or welcomed to, but because my natural reticence still controlled my actions. I hope to do better this year.
I don’t remember exactly what the main speakers said, what the workshops were all about, or what I had for dinner. I do know that I went away inspired, encouraged and spiritually fed.
I’m looking forward to going again.