I have arrived at the location of my writing workshop/conference. I’m nervous, excited, looking forward to it, and feeling guilty about leaving my family for selfish pursuits — a mixed bag of emotions that have me a little on edge. I’m always nervous about meeting new people, and there’s going to be workshop with said new people, plus famous authors and the like. In a way it’s a vacation for me, away from parenting, family, a busy schedule, and the foggy cold weather that is summer in San Francisco. But going to this workshop is also not a vacation for me — it’s some extended time I will have to myself for the first time in the nearly two years since my son was born. I feel, because it is time that I’m taking away from my family, that I have to make the most of it, reading and writing and thinking about writing in an uninterrupted way that I cannot do at home. I worried over what to bring. How many books is too many for a five day trip? I have no concept of how much time I will have to read and write, I’ve packed one book to read and two to reread that I think will be good models for what I’m working on now. I have never felt more confident about my writing and, at the same time, less confident about leaving home.
This post is a bit all over the place, which I suppose is reflective of how I’m feeling about attending the workshop/being away from my son. The combination of being a parent and trying to be a writer is one I never expected to be so…complicated, so fraught with emotion. For every success I have as a writer, I feel I am giving up something else.
But that is all just worry, nothing that a few days in warm weather and with writing-minded people cannot help me escape. I’m looking forward to this; I’m ready to be inspired; I keep telling myself that I deserve this.
*My mom referred to my attending a writing workshop as “heading off to writing camp,” which I suppose is pretty much what it is, with more wine and no smores.