If you ask a writer why they write, they may not be able to specifically name what it is that drives them. But if asked what stops them from writing, expect a detailed, possibly emotional account.
In Jennifer Getsinger's case she says it is embarrassment,"Embarrassment that my writing is not scintillating enough. Embarrassment about trying to write intimate moments without creating mockery in the reader. Embarrassment about weak stories. And lately, embarrassment that it has taken me so long to write them down."
Clearly, the published author has largely succeeded in surmounting this barrier. Getsinger, a graduate of SFU's Writers' Studio in creative writing, will be facilitating a Nature Journaling workshop during the Write on Bowen Festival. In addition to journaling daily, Getsinger has written fiction, nonfiction, poetry and even geological and other scientific reports. With a background in anthropology and geology, Getsinger has developed a style of "describing the natural world around me as I proceed through life as more of an observer than participant." In her workshop, Getsinger will teach participants how to use a nature journal as a valuable primary resource for writing non-fiction, fiction, and poetry.
Annie Daylon believes a good way to jump into writing is through contests. Her workshop will focus on honing the craft of writing by going the competitive route. With a background in music, teaching and fiction writing, Daylon has entered and won numerous short story contests. She maintains that contests are an effective exercise for writers. They provide inspiration, motivation and the most important thing of all - a deadline. Daylon says that she loves "to get up at 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning and go to my computer where I spend numerous hours crafting characters who tell me their stories." During her workshop on Sunday, Daylon will share tips on sharpening the craft and provide information about contest opportunities in Canada and the U.S.
Back by popular demand (she was a great hit at Write on Bowen 2010), freelance writer and poet Elee Kraljii Gardiner will be leading a workshop on Unbuilding the Blocks, as well as co-hosting the Saturday dinner event (with Michael Turner): Write to the Island: Adventures in Social Writing. Kraljii Gardiner is an adjunct member of The Writer's Studio at Simon Fraser University who teaches creative writing at the Carnegie Community Centre. She is the director of Thursdays Writing Collective and the founder of Otter Press.
Kraljii Gardner says that she writes "in gushes, generating a lot and then settling into a fallow period that is perfect for tinkering." When it comes to revision, she says the trick is to give it time and patience. "Revision is like hooking up with your first lover years later. You have such tenderness for the poem's intent, its charm and awkwardness, but you are clear about why things can't stay as they are."
Participants at Write on Bowen can choose from 16 interactive writing workshops along with several special events including opening night with Annabel Lyon and Timothy Taylor. To register, go online at www.writeonbowen.com. Write on Bowen 2011 is made possible through the support of the Canadian Heritage department of the Government of Canada and the Bowen Island Municipality.