By Diane Ward
I had the pleasure of attending the International Women’s Writer Guild (IWWG) from July 22- 24. Offerings included keynote speakers, agent and editor panels, pitch sessions, an open mic, workshops, breakout sessions and discussion groups. The conference was an oasis hosted by women for women.
Participants were offered a diverse pallet of choices which included graphic/comics development, yoga infused /inspired body to mind stretching exercises for readying both the body and mind, vision mapping, to recall prompts seeking /recalling/remembering/channeling the inner child that first considered writing, to methods for those seeking ways to frame scheduled and timed writing niches.
Consistently and throughout the IWWG Event, messaging highlighted the encouragement and support for writing forward.
Writing is not always an inclusionary craft and contained historically exclusionary topics. Nuances of where, when, how, who and what women are “allowed to write about” finds our paths to written liberation internationally diverse. In order to offset challenges, looking forward requires looking inward.
A writer’s path is emotionally, socially and oftentimes monetarily impacted upon by many interfering factors (which can be viewed as great fodder for writing; your choice.) Whether personal or family expectations roles, approval, disapproval, and consequences, ultimately women writers choose between these influencers every time. Writers are initially influenced by cultural, ethnicity, gender and political power. Men are perhaps less concerned with these issues.
Writing our way forward requires replenishing, finding, storing, sorting, securing, obtaining, and acknowledging both our strengths and areas needing reinforcements. We pride ourselves on doing it all, everything, but at what price to ourselves? When we develop patience within ourselves, we provide an immovable foundation for our writing.
As advocates for each other this camaraderie benefits from networking and sharing resources and not “reinventing the wheel.” Naturally I touted the NWU as a networking sharing resource. What better way to advance the themes of writing forward than sharing our love of our craft? Bonding these opportunities with shared resources enhances skills sets, broadens our knowledge base which encourages more depth and exciting writing. Just imagine the possibilities!
Yes, I enjoyed this event and plan to keep them within my circle of choices. We have choices, and we know what we need to enhance our development as writers, as women writers responsible for our craft, but first responsible to ourselves. Thank you.