By Joanie Buettgen
Do you obsess?
Workshops can be a great way to meet and greet fellow authors. This fixation of mine started back in December 2009, for the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. My personal pre-occupation started when the event was four months away.
This grasp over my life started and began to build as the months counted down to April 15. I embraced this hold and let it totally consume my life.
For the EBWW it started out of the gate with an email from Matt, “Dear Joanie, Thank you for being one of the “first” registrants for the 2010 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. Rest assured, you are indeed registered for 2010. Here’s the e-mail confirmation.”
Indeed, the insanity had started.
The next step on this highway was the launch of the “Let’s get to know each other segment.”
As grown adults, we were constantly told by mom, “Don’t talk to strangers!”
We all embraced: Facebook, Twitter, and our own personal blogs. We chatted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We all were hooked and the energy was exhilarating.
Indeed-we had all lost our minds.
In this age of being “social,” sometimes too much of a good thing is too much.
My preoccupation with the task of communicating with many fellow writers consumed many of my hours. At one point I had my Facebook page minimized, www.humorwriters.org page opened, and my own personal email ready to release with a quick click.
After the informal “get to know each other” chats began; we escalated to approximately 100 emails in a 24 hour period. My delete key was smoking.
“This is just craziness,” I often told with myself at 5 a.m. Yeh…right. What was I doing up at that time of day?
As writers, we are constantly reminded to write, write, and write some more. Our self promotion of these Web sites can be quite challenging at times.
Here are just some of the questions from our chat rooms, “What’s a blog?”
“How do I leave a comment?”
And quite often, “My computer cannot find your link?”
As the days progressed, these friendly chats reminded me of a “Kumbaya” moment. We all enjoyed the many amusing posts on our Web sites which included: cool pictures, enjoyable links, and quirky notations. That’s the fun of it!
Then about a month before EBWW, the pace picked up.
As the e-mails increased, every writer new or well-seasoned shared their own experiences at past EBWWs. For instance, “What do I need to bring? Who will be there? Can I wear my bunny slippers?”
It’s less than 24 hours before I’m scheduled to fly out to Dayton. I’ve printed out my boarding pass, checked my email one last time, Facebooked, Twittered and finally left this blog post. I’m exhausted, but excited to finally fly.
Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.
Published: Minnesota Moments Magazine, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, and the National Barn Alliance.
Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee.