Monday, October 27, 2014

Writing, Networking and the Fear of Stinking

I love writing. You might think this is strange, but I go into withdrawal when I can’t write. I guess this means I’m addicted to writing. Thankfully this is better than being addicted to shopping or Mtn. Dew, but not by much.

I carry reporter notebooks in my purse; I have notepads in my car and every room, so that I can write down whatever I must write. In fact, I get some of my best ideas in the shower and on the royal throne. I've thought about putting one of those underwater, diver communication boards in the shower. Unfortunately, I think the hot water will turn icy before I get my toes washed. I like clean toes.

One thing I like to do equally with writing is to talk about writing. This past weekend I acted as a faculty member during the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop (SCWW) conference, and taught two sessions. I think the attendees found some tidbits they could take away, and no one fell asleep in my sessions. Bingo.  

If you know me, things happen. Unfortunately, I forgot my deodorant. Usually when I rush, I perspire like a flood. My upper lip, forehead and the back of my head require mopping, not to mention that sweat smells. Friday morning, I had to mentally say, “Calm down and try not to stink.” I walked to the hotel Starbuck's/store in search of deodorant, and I was willing to pay the equivalent of the national debt for men’s deodorant, if I couldn't find some for women.

Eureka. I went to the bathroom close to where I would speak and peeled off my clothes. In the end, the skunk factor was avoided.

When I wasn’t in front of the projector, I found out what others were writing, gave out million-dollar advice (Monopoly money), and reunited with great friends. I also made some new ones. Networking was a blast.

Writing is a solitary thing, networking isn't. I talked and talked, and talked some more. I even had to wear clothes to the three-day event. That meant I couldn't wear my pajamas or fuzzy slippers. I had to brush my hair and teeth and wear ironed clothes. Actually, I wore stuff that was new or didn't wrinkle. I sort of looked like the person my husband married decades ago.

I even wore mascara. (A fact that deserves its own paragraph.)

All this effort and talking nonstop wore me out. Instead of sitting up until 2 or 3 in the morning talking to my roommate, Beth Browne, lights went out before 11 pm…

Now, I’m back home. The writing begins anew, with new projects on the horizon. Instead of writers being present, I have two snoring Weimaraners, a husband that insists on talking about what happened while I was gone, and cats that must be petted.


When things return to normalcy, I’ll again withdraw to my computer friend and welcome the writing once more.


May all your days smell sweet as you write. I'd love to hear from you. Please write to me at aitken.helen@gmail.com

Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. So many gems in this! I love that mascara gets its own paragraph. It was great fun seeing you and catching up. Thanks so much for my giraffe jewelry and for putting up with our crazy Thursday dinner.

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