The Sydney Writer’s Festival just so happened to be going on while I was in town and I’m glad I went. Working full time and going to grad school didn’t leave me much energy to write so it was refreshing to be among writers and get some inspiration at a time when I could refocus on anything I wanted.
My friend Sasha and I went to a panel discussion about what exactly makes an international best-seller with publishers discussing the appeal of plot, characters, and writing style. We were also lucky enough to hear Cheryl Strayed, the author of the uber-successful Wild, speak about the book and her life. After her talk, Cheryl signed books for everyone including my friend and we got to say a quick hello and she was sweet as can be. I read Wild earlier in the year and admired the vulnerability in her writing and especially her advice during her hour-long talk. The host asked her what she would tell her twenty-something self and she said she would tell herself not to worry because everything would sort itself out.
I definitely worry more than I should or need to so Strayed’s advice was a gentle nudge to remind me to focus on what’s most important, one of those things being my writing. If there is any advice I could give to someone, it would be to stop worrying, go travel, and get some perspective. It does wonders for the mind.