For over 30 years I have received an enormous amount of joy and healing from writing. Last year I noticed that my writing was becoming a bit flat and lacking “juice.” Although there are many classes here in the Bay Area for re-energizing one’s writing, none of them caught my soul’s attention.
One day I noticed a brochure from The International Women’s Writing Guild. It gave information about an early spring conference in Santa Cruz. My heart softened when I read the brochure even though I knew nothing about The International Women’s Writing Guild.
I emailed the IWWG director in New York and inquired about the conference. That inquiry led to a whole host of synchronistic events. I found out that one of the conference teachers lived less than two miles from me.
When I arrived in Santa Cruz, I noticed a woman from the same church I attend. It turned out that she was also one of the IWWG conference teachers. I had no idea that two of the three teachers for the weekend were directly connected to me when I picked up the brochure. During that weekend, my writing took on a new energy.
More unexpected blessings unfolded from that weekend. When I attended the March conference in Santa Cruz, I did not know that in June I would be flying back to New York for the annual IWWG weeklong writing conference, “Remember the Magic.” That conference, held on Skidmore campus in upstate NY, was awesome! Huge shifts took place within me and in my writing.
The gifts of the Skidmore experience are abundant. I got far more than I expected. The 420 women in attendance were present with their spirits, and this touched me deeply.
From that experience, my writing has taken on a fuller and richer energy. I find that my poetry is more real. I feel free to write about controversial issues that I had avoided in the past. My writing displays gut level feelings more openly. I was helped to “let it rip” and not hold back. My repertoire has become expansive in that I am writing in genres that I had not touched before. More than anything, Skidmore helped me find my own my gift of writing, and, now, I call myself a writer and poet.
– Louise Yahnian
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