This week/weekend, every other photo on my Facebook feed is of some happy writer or writers in a convention center or hotel, lanyards around their necks, books in hand. People are posting their schedules, thisclose to bragging about what panels they get to attend and readings they get to hear. Name dropping abounds. Selfies with chapbooks, lit journals, tables full of indie press story collections. Everyone’s in Tampa and it’s like friggin’ spring break, apparently.
No idea what I’m talking about?
This weekend is AWP.
AWP, if you don’t know (and most people don’t) is the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. The only major thing they do, as far as I can tell, is hold a yearly conference of the same name. (Why is it not AWWP? Why do they not add a letter to distinguish the association from the event? Don’t ask me. I’m sure there’s something in the Chicago Manual of Style.)
Okay, they also publish a magazine. If you register for the conference, you get their publication for a whole year. I went to AWP once, when it was here in Seattle, and I think I read about three articles from my whole year’s subscription. Which is not to say that it’s a poor publication; it’s just that, while I am the sensitive, bookish type, I’m not quite that bookish.
The fact is, this weekend is filling me with sour grapes (and fermented grapes) as I look across my Facebook feed at the dozens of people I vaguely/don’t really know, with whom I’ve connected on the internet because we are writers and writers gotta stick together and networking is important and all that stuff, realizing that my book is far from finished, realizing that I do not prioritize my fiction, realizing that the little girl inside me who started writing stories at the age of five, wrote a forty-page, size-fourteen-font “novel” at the age of twelve, who thought she would be published by the age of sixteen, then twenty-one, then thirty… well, she’s disappointed in me.
She’s disappointed in me.
So, this weekend, while the whole world (or several thousand writers, which really is a lot) is at AWP, I’ve decided to do a few things to make that little girl proud.
- Work on my novel
- Work on my other novel
- Try writing a short story
- Work on my novel some more
Let’s hope it works out.