Pass It On by Andy Scheer
The ripples are moving across the waters. In the few days since this year's Write! Canada conference in Guelph, Ontario, the people who attended have already begun to share what they've learned.
At first the ripples moved through conversations at the conference, blogs, and tweets. In the next few weeks, the influence will spread via reports at writers groups across the country. Then the deeper results will begin—through more effective articles that appear in newspapers, magazines, and websites. Eventually books, more powerful for what writers learned at the conference, will follow—but only after the online influence has circled the planet multiple times, touching lives in ways their writers will learn only in eternity.
I'm grateful to be part of the chain of influence. Though I've been teaching at writers conferences since the late 1980s, I'm also still learning from them.
This past week I rode from the airport to the conference centre (spelled the Canadian way) with two other agents. The car was filled with shop talk all the way from Toronto to Guelph. At dinner after the conference, I sat across the table from one of those agents. Among other news, I learned the answer to a question my colleagues at Hartline have been asking about what's happening at a certain publishing house. Now I know, and they do too.
I'd love to spend my entire time at a writers conference just listing; there's always so much to learn. But for faculty members that's never an option, so I try to be a good steward of what I've learned.
On my trip back from Toronto to Colorado, I reflected on how many people I'd spoken to at the conference, and the sources of that information. I taught two workshops and had six paid critique sessions, two dozen other appointments, and countless conversations. I can't remember how many times I cited information I'd learned from mentors, colleagues, and writers.
I trust my many new Canadian friends will also be faithful with what they've learned.