The first weekend in May, I had the opportunity to attend the 36th Annual Christopher Newport University Writers’ Conference. As CNU is local and I am a writer, it seemed a useful chance to make connections and get my feet wet in the writerly world.
First, the good stuff: It was a very well done event. The workshops were presented by knowledgeable folk, the schedule, while tight, was manageable, the staff helpful and welcoming, and the venue was very nice. Additional kudos to the participants, who were enthusiastic. Here’s a link: http://cnu.edu/writers/
Notice that this was the 36th Annual CNU Writers’ Conference. They’ve done this for all these years and unless this was some aberration, have done it well. I salute the University and can highly recommend it for anyone with an interest in writing.
Thanks, CNU for a really fine writers’ conference.
I learned some important things by attending for my first time. But now, the not-so-good stuff: I did not enjoy it. My impression was that I attended someone else’s class reunion, a stranger’s birthday party, the Williamsburg Farmers’ Market (more about that in last week’s post), or another event where I was allowed, tolerated, and not particularly well-suited. This is not because CNU did anything wrong. I’m just not a people person.
If I was more social, enjoyed the company of my species more, joined organizations of ostensibly like-minded people, and tried harder to fit in, I would be comfortable at this kind of event.
I should have joined a local writers’ group. Matter of fact, instead of my carping on about my shortcomings, I’m handing out advice; if you have an interest in (put your interest here), find a group and join. If you can’t find the appropriate organization, start one. Stamp collecting, quilting, memorabilia from WWI, writing, belly-dancing, the list could be endless. Get active. Participate.
We all have too much on our plates: jobs, spouses, kids, lawns, home improvements, but being a part of a group that promotes or improves something you are passionate about must be good for your mental health.
So, while I won’t be at your quilting club or your belly-dance class, that’s my loss, not yours.
Note from the editor: If you have recommendations for local groups that might benefit from being introduced to Chuck’s work, please leave them in comments!