By Sara Leach
Forget about January 1. Resolutions, smesolutions. For me, renewal comes every Labour Day long weekend. It may have something to do with spending 35 of my 41 years tied to the school calendar. Or maybe it is as simple as the change in weather. A nip in the air at night. Huckleberry leaves starting to turn colour and drop. Pouring rain after a summer of sunshine.
Regardless of the reason, fall is the time that I turn my mind to self-improvement, plans for the year ahead, and new writing projects. How fortunate that the Whistler Writers and Readers Festival coincides with my circadian rhythms.
For years, the Writer’s Festival has been a reminder that I’m a writer. An, “oh yes, this is what I do,” after a lazy summer of not keeping up with my writing. A time to connect with authors, get inspired, and renew my promise to myself to write daily.
These days, I’m better at staying focused over the summer. Deadlines from publishing houses have a way of keeping me on track. But the festival still acts as a signpost for me, pointing the way toward new ideas and new connections with authors. This year, I’m looking forward to Ania Szado’s “From History to Story” workshop. I’ve always loved reading historical fiction. I think the time has come to put my hand to writing it.
Like a kid picking out a new backpack and sharpening pencils before going back to school, thinking about a new writing project both excites and unnerves me. Endless possibilities. No mistakes yet. Endless empty pages. All that potential for making mistakes.
Surrounding myself with members of the writing community helps at the beginning (and middle, and end) of a project. Even though writing is a solitary task, knowing I have the support of all those writers behind me makes each word easier.
Sara Leach is the author of several books for children, including the Red Cedar Awardwinning Count Me In. Her newest book for young readers, Warm Up, will be released by Orca Book Publishers in the spring of 2014. As well as attending Ania Szado’s workshop, she is looking forward to hearing Jian Gomeshi and Will Ferguson talk at the Fairmont on Saturday night.
About the Whistler Readers and Writers Festival:
The Whistler Readers and Writers Festival started in 2001. Each year the three-day event brings world-renowned authors to Whistler for workshops, panel discussions and readings. The intimacy of this festival with its focus on events for both readers and writers makes it unique. For more information visit: whistlerreadersandwritersfestival.com