Tomorrow I will embark on a writing adventure that is WAY outside my comfort zone. I will be traveling to the University of Iowa, famous for its MFA program... but also for its annual summer Writing Festival that invites all interested authors and author-wannabees to attend a variety of non-credit week-long and/or weekend classes. I signed up for the Travel Writing class this weekend.
I don't know why I do this. I read about a class that sounds exciting and interesting and right up my ally (I do indeed love to travel and harbor this idea of writing a book that is accompanied by photographs). I sign up for the class in an impetuous moment. And then... as the date looms closer to reality, I begin to have doubts. I am too old to entertain the notion of a new career opportunity. I am unqualified to write about travels when my excursions have been few and far between. I am not a good enough writer to entice others to read about my travels.... well, you get the idea.
Classes are kept to a maximum of twelve students, which I am sure provides lots of individual attention, but also provides no place to hide. I will be forced to take part in the sharing and critiquing process... something that I feel far more comfortable doing as the instructor rather than the student. We will meet on Saturday from 10:00am to noon - break for a two hour lunch (and I think some writing exercises) and then reconvene from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Dinner is on our own Saturday night and there is an optional read-around session at 7:00pm. I anticipate some evening writing exercises and then the same schedule holds true for Sunday, with the class concluding around 4:00. It will be short but sweet, and I am sure intense.
Despite the doubts and valid concerns, I will follow through on this commitment. We will leave tomorrow around noon and arrive in the college town by dinner time. One perk about the trip is that Iowa City is known as a literary town.... with the multi-level Prairie Lights bookstore and the famed Iowa Avenue Literary Walk, that celebrates 49 different authors. I definitely hope to visit these sites in between class time and personal writing endeavors. I also plan to take my camera and perhaps practice taking pictures to accompany possible travel tales.
Wish me luck as I venture outside this cocoon... and I will give a report when I return on Monday.