The 2018 Creative Ink Festival has come to a close. Creative Ink is a growing grassroots writing festival, for all levels of writers, that takes place yearly in Burnaby, BC. From the first time I attended the festival three years ago, purely as a volunteer, to this past weekend, where I was hoping to learn how to write, I have grown so much as a writer.
Ok, that sounds really weird, calling myself a writer. I don’t actually feel like I am a writer, but after three years attending the festival I finally feel that I could potentially be a writer. From initial longings of “I wish I could write” to now, actually being willing to potentially call myself a writer, I have the Creative Ink Festival to thank. I feel like the scythe in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you know the one, it contains the powerful slayer magic that would turn a potential slayer into a full blooded slayer. My potential is locked up, I just need my Willow to help unlock it. The Creative Ink Festival is my Willow.
You might be wondering why at this point I’m even willing to entertain the idea of calling myself a writer one day. Well at the 2018 Creative Ink Festival, not only did I help out behind the scenes volunteering, but I also attended a number or presentations, panels and even signed up for the Master Class, taught this year by C.C (Chris) Humphreys. Chris Humphreys was one of two Guests of Honour for the Festival, a British actor, playwright and novelist, he was a wealth of information and had a lot to share with attendees about writing your first novel.
Something that Chris said during this class really resonated with me. As I mentioned, I’ve always wished that I could write. This small thought has been something lounging on a fainting couch in the back of my brain for as long as I can remember. Why couldn't I be a writer? I never really enjoyed English class back when I was in school, finding it quite boring, and somehow I thought that meant that I couldn’t write. Why those two things were connected in my brain, I have no idea. Attending the festival the past few years has slowly made me realize that enjoying English class and writing are not actually connected. Maybe I could write one day?
One of the things I’ve learned at the festival this year is that even the most celebrated author had to start somewhere. Kevin Hearne, the other fantastic 2018 Creative Ink Festival Guest of Honour, took 19 years to have his first novel published. This novel wasn’t even the first one he wrote. His first published novel, Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1) was the second novel he wrote. He wrote Hounded while waiting to find out if his first novel would ever be picked up by a publishing house. He wrote it because his excitement of writing was overwhelming and while he was waiting on his first novel, he needed to output this excitement somewhere. He wrote Hounded and was published, finally, after nineteen years.
All writers have to start somewhere. They have to practice again and again, over and over, before they were good, before they would be published. If that publishing happens traditionally or as a self published novel, all authors still start at the beginning. If I ever want this background brain thought of wishing I could write to jump up off that fainting couch and stop being a wish, I will actually have to write.
The enthusiasm and encouragement from everyone who attends the Creative Ink Festival has finally infected me to the point where I am going to write. I have already been doing some blogging, which I have learned this past weekend is still writing, but I really want to write a story. It won’t be good, I am just starting out after all, but I’m starting. I never would have gotten to this point without the supportive nature of the Creative Ink Festival. It may have taken three years of attending the Festival for me to get to the point of starting to write a story, but I can 100% tell you, without the Creative Ink Festival I never would have gotten to this point.
Never once did I feel like I didn’t belong at the festival because I wasn’t a writer, let alone author. Year after year, everyone from from guests of honour to panellists and presentators and attendees, everyone, they were all willing to stop and chat with you, give support and overall be encouraging to you to continue this craft of writing. It is rare to find such a positive community that makes you feel like you belong, especially when you don’t feel like you belong in it. The Creative Ink Festival is like that, positive, and I am so glad to be a part of it. I can’t wait until the 2019 Creative Ink Festival, where I will be attending for the first time as a writer (maybe by next year that won’t feel so weird to say). Over the next year I am going to write a story. It doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t have to be long, but I am committed to have written something that has a starting, a middle and an end. That is after all the first step to achieving a dream, starting.
"Writing is Writing"
~ C.C. (Chris) Humphreys
You might be wondering what was it that Chris Humphreys said during the Master Class that made me realize that I could be a writer one day, he said “Writing is Writing”. Writing is Writing. Such a simple phrase that I found incredibly powerful and I never would have heard this without the festival. The Creative Ink Festival takes your potential and unleashes is upon the world.