Wednesday, July 21, 2010
A different kind of goal
One of my goals at Chautauqua has been to talk to a lot of different people. I am a chatty person, but usually in a large group like this, I tend to meet a few people the first day, and they become my group. That hasn't happened here.
There are roughly a hundred attendees and around 20 faculty at the workshop. My goal coming in was to meet and have a conversation with at least half of each. I'm defining conversation as the give and take, "Where are you from, what do you write, what do you do when you're not writing," variety over just saying hello. If I ate a meal with someone, sat next to them at a workshop, or walked with them from place to place, and had a chat, that counts.
We have a booklet with everyone's photo and a brief bio. I love that. It gives me a kind of checklist to work from. I'm just about at my goal, too. I may have surpassed it. I haven't counted people yet today.
Sarah and I sat together at the first couple of meals after we got here. By mid-morning Sunday, we were both okay with splitting up and doing our own thing for a while. Later that day, Becky from Texas saw me at dinner and asked where Sarah was. She was surprised we weren't joined at the hip. But that's cool.
Most of our new friends know we came here together, but we've each met a few folks the other hasn't. And that's great. Because as important as all the writing is, the people are even more so. We may find new beta readers or blog followers. In fact, I'm sure we will. I know there are at least a handful of people I plan to stay in touch with. So, new friends, if you're here, hi. I'm glad I met you.