Saturday, August 7, 2010

Clarion West: There and Back Again

I'm back.

Six Weeks. At least 21,000 words written, and close to half a million words read (~100 stories). Six great instructors, and seventeen other very talented writers. Plus two wonderful administrators, at least ten guest speakers, a great cook, numerous gracious volunteers and supporters.

Uncountable great conversations with like-minded souls, too many plates of delicious food eaten (ooo fried cheese curds). Vats of ice-cream consumed, at least a few beers and glasses of wine and whiskey.  Many miles walked around Seattle (and paddled upon Lake Union).

Many, many new friends and some I now think of as "family." 


Well, here's the thing. My first response is to try and boil down the Clarion West experience to all these quantifiable things so that I can more easily explain it to people. But the six weeks I spent in Seattle defy easy explanation.

I hope in the coming weeks and months on this blog to talk a little about what the workshop meant to me--but I'm honestly still too busy processing the experience right now to form a coherent summary of everything I learned during the most life-changing of all the summer vacations I've ever had. 

For now, all I can say is: If you're an aspiring writer who feels they are just on the verge of a professional career, but you feel like you need something to boost you to the next level--consider applying for one of the Clarion workshops.

It will change your life, too. 


JohnR said...

Andy, I really like this blog post. ;)

I love the executive summary in the first paragraph and the response to it. Definitely catches my experience of trying to explain it to well-meaning, caring folks. "Here's *a* way of describing it, but it doesn't do it any justice, not really."

Sandra Odell said...

An artist friend of mine understood when I mentioned Frank's comments about having finally found people who understand what it means to be a writer, to talk to people about writing directly or from the point of view of the writer. For that alone, beyond anything else, he was happy I went to Clarion West.

Utopiana said...

It IS hard to explain the time in Seattle to other people, but we can keep trying. At least we know what it meant to us. Thanks for sharing.