Official AWP Stalker

I read a lot of blogs, which may tend to get in the way of me writing on my own. Most of the blogs I read fall into these categories: personal reflections on life (like mine), education (tis who I am), and writers/writing (tis who I want to be). So a good chunk of my reading has been postponed these past few days because the writers/writing category have been gallivanting in Atlanta at the annual AWP conference. AWP is the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (you can see why they shortened it to AWP). The conference is an excuse for the writers to get together and hobnob, muse about their success, or drink away their failures. I always imagined writers, when put together in a large group, were rather stuffy and pretentious, but AWP sounds like anything but. Consider me an AWP stalker. No, I did not actual go to Atlanta. Jeez, I can’t even afford to take a ski trip to New England. But for the past two years I have been living vicariously through the writers’ blogs that I read, and I love to hear of their AWP adventures.

I have been saying this for some time now – but I want to get back into writing. I need to find out whether I’m actually any good at it, or if I had writing teachers blowing smoke up my butt. (It is entirely possible that this is the case.) I haven’t found the inspiration to write… in almost a year. But, my mild depression I think might just be the kicker to get me going. My occasional but frequent enough sub jobs have made me itchy to write about American schools, students, and the inefficiencies of education. But in a fun, dry sarcastic sort of way. Fiction, memoir, poetry – it’s all open to suggestion. I want to try all forms, see which one carries me through – and maybe, someday, lands me at a table selling books at AWP.


About Gina Marie Thompson

writer • mom • trail runner • cheese slinger • educator • social justice crusader • seeker of love & beauty• living locally • I CHOOSE LOVE ❤️
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8 Responses to Official AWP Stalker

  1. Kimberly Roark says:

    Gina, my love, I feel your pain. I have been in a dry spell as well. Gabe would be so disappointed in us. Ha. But depression usually causes me to NOT want to write. I’ve maybe written twelve journal entries in the last year. I’ll get the bug, go home and write for an hour, and then I’m done for a few weeks. I wonder why this is. At least you are getting inspiration and are feeling the desire awaken again. And you’ve got topics! So go with it!


  2. Gina Marie says:

    For some reason, the more my life is a mess, the more I’m able to write. I guess it’s the idea that you write about pain, instead of happy things like flowers. I have been writing a lot of snail mail letters to friends, one in particular we write back and forth, but nothing in terms of “creative writing.” Since this post, I still haven’t written, but that could have something to do with my and Stacy’s life being a bit insane the past two days, to put it mildly. Topics? Yeah, I’ve got them. My whole is a topic! Do you write any poetry any more?


  3. Kimberly says:

    I never really wrote poetry to begin with. Gabe always said that my poetry needed “help”. And it’s true. I may be able to write narrative, but a natural poet I am not.On the train a few mornings ago I was thinking about how Gabe used to say that his writing schedule began at 4am. Crazy man. But I was thinking that maybe some kind of writing structure might actually be good.My sister is a writer and has created a schedule for herself. It’s really helped her make some progress.Hmmmmm…..


  4. Gina Marie says:

    Yeah, I definitely believe in structure when it comes to writing (or, I guess most things in life). I finished not too long ago a book On Writing by Stephen King. It was a great book, and laid out a good structured plan for writing. Stacy writes in the morning (well, when he’s not remodeling a bathroom). I can’t do that, since teaching requires me to be at school by 7:45, but maybe I could write in the afternoons, an hour or so before Stacy comes home from work. I do believe that if it’s going to work, you need to set aside time for it. But I can’t get my sorry ass out of bed at 4am.


  5. Brian says:

    Stumbled over here from …”On Writing” is a great place to find inspiration … esp. when King recounts his first sportswriting attempt and how brevity was drilled into his head by the editor. Reading the poems of Stephen Dunn also makes me want to write.AWP can be a lot of fun. I attended when it was held in D.C., Pittsburgh and New Orleans (what a party). At New Orleans, I managed to at least get to its booksale, if nothing else.Most of its topics are too academic, too ivory tower for my taste. AWP is good for those who want to discuss college-level teaching or writing theory; but for actual writing, I prefer King’s simple advice over the too-much-in-their-own-head AWP discussions.Still, it usually has a couple of good readings, is a fun three-day party and you have a good shot at meeting some of your heroes. Hmm, maybe I’ve just talked myself into going next year. I could use a beer.


  6. Gina Marie says:

    Hey Brian, thanks for stopping by! I imagined AWP to be a little academic — but I’ve felt that way about the whole writing/writer/poet scene. I’m sure there are plenty writers that are down to earth, but every time I think of a writing conference, I think of a very academic scene. I would still love to, though. Meet some writers, pretend to be one myself, and have a generally good time. I hear those writers like to drink! 🙂


  7. Brian says:

    Yeah, at least the ones I know do. That’s the only reason poetry readings exist. 😉 The trick is to find the people who use the word “pedagogy” in social circles and then avoid them like the plague.A pal & I actually tried to get a panel at Atlanta this year and challenge AWP members with the question, “Does what you write really matter to anyone other than yourself?” I like to console myself by assuming the topic wasn’t selected ’cause it might have struck a nerve.


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