Pure Gold

Photographed by Fiona Lloyd

At the risk of boring you, I too must mention the WOWIG weekend! It had so much of an impact on me, that it would be criminal not to talk about it. It was a pond in the desert (use your imagination!), a nugget of gold to brighten up the simply exhausting challenges of everyday life. And, yes, I know life is littered with tiny flecks of gold but this was a sizable chunk. 

The speakers were great, the food and accommodation, perfect, the music, divine (!!) but the camaraderie, the friendship, and warmth radiating from the people made it for me. Catching up with old friends and making new ones, these relationships are sincere and honest. I love that people feel they can speak to me, share their work with me and make themselves vulnerable, and likewise, I can do the same. 

It has to be said that I don’t always find social situations easy and I know there are others like me. Anxiety is real and many people suffer, especially today.  As I sloped off for a quick, quiet five minutes to walk down the deserted corridors to my room, I opened one door and literally came face to face with a gentleman also enjoying some peace. We both shrieked in shock and surprise and then apologised profusely. A chance meeting in our solitude, a connection of like-mindedness. 

Bridget and Adrian Plass, in one of their presentations, said that what they most love about the ACW events is sharing community. Hearing about people’s families, their triumphs and their struggles, being able to offer a kind word,  a nugget of wisdom, or simply a hug (Adrian’s bear hugs are the best) is what it’s all about. Even better, we all share the same thirst for writing but these meetings go so much deeper than writing. I hope everyone felt like I did. This safe space to be ourselves while talking about our passion for writing. I think even if we had the most eminent, entertaining speaker in the world (and ours were pretty great), if we don’t have integrity, it’s kind of meaningless. This weekend was pure gold.

Photographed by Amy Robinson

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