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?