A Creative Shot in the Arm

Hello from Salt Lake City, where I’m attending the Quills Conference, an event for writers and editors hosted by the League of Utah Writers.

My original intent was to be here as a volunteer for the Editorial Freelancers Association. I’m an EFA member and happy to support the organization. But when I saw the lineup of discussion topics, I paid the full fee to attend some workshops between my volunteer shifts.

I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that writing and editing are such solitary pursuits, it’s easy to focus on my own deadlines and shut out the rest of the world.

That’s exactly why I pry myself out of the office, and my comfort zone, once in a while – to spark new ways of thinking about what and how I write.

I’ve sat in so far on sessions about strategies to craft more interesting sentences, use more inclusive language, write about difficult topics and family history, and more.

All that, and my conversations with fellow EFA members at our info table have been delightful. (I’m in the photo with Crystal Shelley and Tom Olson. Also enjoyed working with Annie Oortman and Kristy Gilbert.)

I assumed the conference would be cancelled, or at least postponed, with COVID delta-variant cases on the rise. Instead, many of the seminars were made available online, and those of us here in person had to present proof that we’d been vaccinated when we checked in.

If there's been a downside, it's that the mask mandate put into place – not only by the conference organizers, but the venue – was pretty much ignored after Day One, creating more than a little confusion.

Nonetheless – cliché alert – the event has been a shot in the arm! I'm sure to come away with lots of ideas and new resolve to pursue them.