In front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Post AWP Re-entry Was Not Easy

I played teacher-hooky last Thursday and Friday to fly to Seattle for AWP 2014.   Thus began four wonderful days  surrounded by more writers and books too numerous to count.  

Never seeing more of the Space Needle than a little blip over the rooftops, I was nevertheless one happy writerwoman content to stay within the confines of the conference center.


A real highlight of the entire trip was visiting and dining with the incredible friends I've met through the A Room of Her Own Foundation's summer retreats.

Returning to my middle school classroom this morning hit me hard.  As with most writers, I often feel the conflict between the writing identify I struggle to cultivate and the demands of my teaching job.  Today that struggle felt particularly difficult.   

Faced with an early morning parent conference, piles of ungraded papers and then another meeting after school, I couldn't believe that only a few days ago I attended poetry readings by Robert Haas and Gary Snyder and listened to Ursula Le Guin talk about how even she still faces rejections of her work.  

Today before going off to work, I spent a few minutes digging into my AWP carrier bag filled with books, postcards, flyers, pencils and buttons.  Maybe I can get myself through the week by dipping out a few of these goodies every morning. 
Who knows what inspiration I'll find there?  

How do you reconcile the conflicts between your writing life and the demands of the outside world?  What helps you stay connected to your writerself?


  1. Ah Lisa, lovely, here you are, connecting me right now to my writer self. My post AWP return was messy too, straight into a world of missing homework for one child, doctor's appointment for another, baseball cleats to find...a day I thought ended with bedtime but as I write back to you...comes the youngest "thirsty for water." Watered I was by time with all of is a good life, this being a writer and ever succumbing to the love for both worlds (outside world and inner writing life). Loved reading this! I journal when I can't do anything else, and what I write there seeds other work. Sweet dreams.

  2. Tania, we have to keep each other connected. It was wonderful to be only a writer for a little while. I guess the messiness of our lives keeps us in material! I am amused to imagine both of us with young ones hanging onto us for dear life - even though in different incarnations. Perhaps they are what keeps us from floating clean away!

  3. Lisa, and I missed it all! Sometimes life just completely gets in the way. But that writer self is still there, waiting. That is the beauty of it, thank goodness. No matter what chaos befalls me, what catastrophe I face, when I resurface, the notepad is on my desk, the computer is waiting, and if I can sit still enough for just a while, a poem begins to brew...

  4. Michelle, we missed you so much! Yes, you are right, we have to trust that our writer being is still waiting for us even when life gets in the way. You have such a positive attitude about it all. I have your beautiful book waiting for your signature!