Tomorrow’s a big day for the Camden Writers. We’ve been working like Trojans for the past few months to plan a creative writing workshop, and our efforts will come to fruition tomorrow in beautiful historic Camden. The event will be held at the downtown campus of Central Carolina Techncial College, and after lunch we’ll adjourn to Books on Broad for a book signing and “meet and greet” with our three guest presenters—Bob Strother, Kim Blum-Hyclak, and Carla Damron.
Planning the event has reminded me of three things: the importance of teamwork, the abundance mentality, and the power of a dream.
Everyone in our local writing group played a part in this undertaking. Tasks involved contacting speakers, developing the agenda, planning lunch, creating postcards, handling registration, assembling gift baskets, purchasing supplies such as folders, and marketing the event. Those who weren’t as free to get involved in the preliminary jobs will make up for it tomorrow as we all work together to make the day meaningful to all present.
Looking at our lineup of presenters again this morning reminded me of Stephen Covey’s concept of the abundance mentality. There’s enough out there for everyone. We all own a piece of the pie, and just because someone seems to have a bigger wedge than you do, it doesn’t mean there’s not enough for you. There is. For instance, one of our speakers, Carla Damron, is a mystery novelist. I couldn’t write a mystery if my life depended on it, but I can write decent nonfiction pieces. She has a vivid imagination. I don’t, but it doesn’t mean there’s not a little sliver out there for me…for us.
Talent is abundant in the Carolinas. It resides not only within the speakers but also within beginning writers and writer wannabes. Some write poetry while others are wary of it—like me. I tell myself that I’m not creative enough to create a poem, that my mind doesn’t work that way, but who knows? After rubbing shoulders with Kim Blum-Hyclak, I might be able to spark a little poem.
Bob Strother, the keynote speaker, has won so many prizes and published so many stories (eighty) that some people might think, “Wow, what’s the use of trying when there’s someone like him on the scene?” Instead think, “Wow, I know I can learn something from this writer about improving my story telling.” It’s going to be hard to decide which of Bob’s books to buy from Books on Broad, but I’m leaning towards Shug’s Place.
Some of the Camden Writers will be presenting at the workshop too. Kathryn Etters Lovatt, Doug Wyant, and Myra Yeatts are sure to get everyone’s muse mojo going as they teach elements of story telling in “Story in a Box.” While these three are sharing tips on character development and dialogue, Brenda Remmes and Jane Gari will be teaching elements of writing family history and memoir, topics they’re both experienced in.
As I conclude this post and turn my thoughts even more towards tomorrow morning, I’m reminded of the power of an idea, a dream. After attending Rock Hill’s Intensive Writing Workshop a few times, I knew we could do something on a smaller scale. Once the seed was planted, there was no turning back. We knew there were people in and around Camden who wanted to know more about the craft of writing and wondered, “Is there anyone else out there?”
Tomorrow people with a desire to learn more about writing will have an opportunity to learn from those who are just a little farther along the path. It’s going to be an exciting, fun, educational happening, and just think: It’s taking place because a group of people with a dream worked together to share their enthusiasm for the written word.