So much of life has changed or been disrupted, put off course, revised. We have been asked to make changes, alterations, sacrifices. Now, with vaccines in the pipeline, there is a feeling that we might be “rounding the bend” so to speak.
I have been working from home since March 30, 2020. There were technical glitches, some due to my home internet and others due to the company’s systems. I got through those. I have had meetings through various applications. When I wanted to meet up with writer friends, there were applications for use there. Writing itself has not taken a back seat nor has the intensity of research required for historical crime fiction.
However, we are coming up on a decision regarding one of my favorite events: the OWFI Writer’s Conference. I’ve been attending since 2012, have made many friends from a variety of genres, and had been invited to be a speaker last year. Obviously, the conference was cancelled but I was graciously invited back this year. And it might be vastly different.
Sitting here a scant four months from the conference, many people do not believe the world at large will be ready for group events in such a scant period of time. Part of me doesn’t want to admit that out loud, but deep down I feel it to be a truism. There is a possibility it might be an online event.
Our current technology allows us to work from home, visit people, actually see them, conduct meetings and training sessions. What it can’t replace is the camaraderie that seeps from the pores, the laughter, the deep side conversations, the motivating hug and the congratulatory handshake. I will be honored to participate in any form this event takes, hoping it does occur. But I can’t help but feel something essential will be missing.
Writers, by their nature, alternate between a hermit-like work existence and gregarious exhibitionists. When working, we need the solace of the den, office, personal space. But when we share, it is like painting with mops, big bold strokes of utterly human behavior.
We will do what we need to do. I will be be completely happy when we finally get to that point of handshakes and hugs.