I was pretty much unplugged from the Internet and email from Thursday through Sunday. I guess I checked back in on Sunday night. And I spent quite a bit of time on Thursday morning preparing to unplug. So perhaps it was three full days without checking my email.
It felt really good. I didn't carry a cell phone the entire time. I didn't check Facebook. I got a huge, productive amount of writing accomplished, as well as a whole bunch of face time with lovely writers (of all genres) from across the state of Kansas.
There were two things different about the Kansas Authors Club convention for me this year. First, I went one day early so that I could have a little writing retreat before loading up on new information and inspiration. I think this shall be a new routine for me. Second, I took a writing friend. It probably seems a little weird that in 10+ years of attending conventions I have never actually shared a room with anyone. I've always tried. Several years I have solicited, sent email queries, open invitations. I go to the conventions because I crave the socialization with other writers, but then kind of take a solo approach to the whole thing.
So it was odd to have a roommate this year, and wonderful at the same time. We took a long walk each day. I often do that when I am alone at conventions, too, but it was more fun with a walking buddy and a traveled farther than I probably would have gone alone.
Our keynote speaker this year was Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, the poet Laureate of Kansas. She was wonderful, as always, and I think my favorite part was the group workshop she presented. Often, in workshops, when the presenter starts giving a writing "assignment" I will sort of freeze. I find myself unable to come up with much. But each time I've been in one of Caryn's workshop, it's as if her words just come together to prompt me so well that my pen starts flowing without effort. I am usually still writing when she calls the time. I find myself with a new start for a new essay and I will even go back and work on this one again later. Often, I just rewrite thoughts or play with concepts I've tried out before. Caryn has a way of inspiring me to pull things from myself I've never really considered putting on paper before.
More to come. I've been supercharged with inspiration. Capturing thoughts on paper as they tumble out. Some may even be captured here.