Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Basically, what Stefanie said.

If you read Stefanie's post on Monday, you probably know that she and I went to a writers' retreat this past weekend. And you probably also know that it was AWESOME! I can honestly say that it was one of the best five days of my life. Not only did I meet people I've gotten to know over the internet, but I also learned a few things.

It's often said that writing is a very solitary endeavor. This is very true, for the most part. But it doesn't have to be completely true. I've been a member of the Facebook writing group called The WraHMs for a long time, but it wasn't until this retreat that I realized how important they are to me and my writing career. Meeting all of these lovely ladies was practically a game changer for me and my outlook on life.

Before this trip, I was in a hole. A deep one. I will admit that I was depressed. I couldn't seem to get happy about life in general. I couldn't seem to remember why I loved to write. Sure, I was writing, but I wasn't focused or excited. I needed a huge smack in the face and I didn't even know it. And that's what this past weekend turned out to be.

I realized that I'm really not alone in this. That I do have friends and they are genuinely concerned for and invested in my happiness and my career. For this, I feel extremely lucky. I can't begin to express how much I love these ladies.

Trying real hard not to get emotional at the moment.
I was also reminded of how essential laughter is to one's mental health. I haven't laughed like that in months.

On the trip home, I felt like a different person. My eyes were open. I was picking up what the world was laying down. I wasn't nervous about being on my own in a new place. Instead, I was excited about what life would hit me with next. I got so many ideas for stories on the way home. Plus, I met a bunch of unique characters that I probably wouldn't have had the guts to converse with a few days earlier. This one guy was a professor whose main area of study was, get this, tapeworms! He was so excited about tapeworms, you guys! And his enthusiasm made me excited about them, too. Did you know a guy named a genus of tapeworms "Serendip" so that when you talk about the family you would say "Serendipidae"? Or at least I think that's right. I'm a writer, I don't science well.

I guess what I'm trying to say is basically the same thing Stefanie said, I'm just not doing it as elegantly. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just take a leap. Put yourself out there and hope for the best. Remember: The magic happens outside your comfort zone!

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