Somebody I love is having a birthday!
When I discovered the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR) around the turn of the millennium, I didn’t even have the courage to identify myself as a writer. Watching WCDR announcements in my local newspaper was the extent of my connection to the group for the first two or three years. I thought it was an organization for ACTUAL writers, so I kept my distance. I imagined attending their events and becoming a member. I read the ads and articles over and over again…with a great sense of anxiety and desire.
Me? A writer? No way…nope. Not me.
Then the desire just got too strong. I could not fight it. I sent in my membership request. I actually used the Canada Post to do it. Old school! With the membership cheque, I submitted the form. I am still embarrassed by the way I filled out that form. I know it was a pleading missive. I articulated my anxiety on that form. I’m surprised to this day that they actually accepted my membership plea. Had that form come across my desk, I might have flagged its author as insane. I would have stamped NOT FRIGGING LIKELY across the form before forwarding it on to the RCMP for the investigation.
But they said yes.
And the love affair began.
The Writers’ Community of Durham Region (then called the Writers’ Circle of Durham Region) opened so many doors for me that I have since lost count. Just being a part of that community allowed me to eventually accept the title of writer for myself. I made connections professionally, I learned how to read my work in front of an actual audience, I have made lifelong friends, I had many many publications as a direct result of my membership. The benefits are non-stop. From the moment I became a member, I felt indebted to the organization…just for accepting me among them.
The group is 20 years old! I have been a member since—I believe 2003, but it might have been 2002. It’s hard to recall. I was a silent member for quite awhile. After gaining the courage to send in the membership form, it took me quite a while longer to gain the courage to make actual contact through workshops, breakfast meetings, etc. So my actual start year has always been a bit foggy.
For ALL GTA (and beyond) WRITERS (and supporters of writers), the WCDR is having a birthday celebration! I suggest that you attend. It is sure to be an amazing night in celebration of words and community. If you’re an area writer and you are not yet a member of the WCDR, I encourage you to check it out. They will do wonders for your identity as a writer. They welcome all writers…whether you are a beginner or a national bestseller. There is nothing like finding your place in the world. Being a part of one of the world’s most vibrant and active writing communities will enhance your writing life beyond measure. Whether you jump into the deep end or just dip a toe in to check the waters, I assure you…you won’t look back. It’s infectious.
DETAILS ON THE UPCOMING BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Come celebrate 20 years of The Writers’ Community of Durham Region with an evening of friends and festivities in the lovely, eco-friendly environment that is Bistro 67 (Durham College’s Centre for Food).
Champagne toasts and a satisfying sweet-table will tempt your tastebuds and the companionship of fellow writers will warm your heart.You won’t want to miss the party of the season:
Saturday, September 12, 2015 7-10 p.m.
Tickets are just $45 each
Durham College – Centre For Food/Bistro 67
(just off Thickson Road & the 401)
Visit the WCDR WEBSITE for more information and to book your tickets!
Don’t be shy. You will be accepted with open arms. There are no secret handshakes. They take your word for it if you say you’re a writer. They don’t even punish or admonish non-writer friends. Take that first step into the community of writers…it’ll be the best step you ever take.
Kevin, your eloquent words brought tears to my eyes.
I, too, took a long time to finally attend a WCDR breakfast. Life got in the way, work, travel, responsibility. I wrote in the dark, like an eager little mushroom struggling to rise out of the dreck. But one day GL Morgan needed a ride to the breakfast, so I registered and attended my first meeting.
Dorothea Helms, aka the Writing Fairy, greeted us at the door and found us a place to sit. The speaker was an award-winning author whose books were on my shelf at home. The people at our table were welcoming and friendly.
The writers I met that day are friends now, and we’ve accomplished so much together. After that wonderful meeting, I signed up for as many workshops as possible, attended every event I could, and later that year, I ran for a board position. I’ve since met all kinds of writers, artists, community leaders, agents, editors and readers. The readings, awards, scholarships, writing contests have been a revelation, and my work has been published and won awards as a result of the opportunities and encouragement offered by WCDR.
Hail the mighty little group that could, and Happy Anniversary! I will definitely be at the celebration. It’s a celebration of wonderful people with wonderful ideas, and more than that, it’s a celebration of me coming into my own as a writer, and knowing the incredible people who helped make that happen.
Amazing comment, Sally! Truly a wonderful group. As evidenced by the love returned by its members. 😊💙💙💙