Why I’m NOT organising Logan Writers’ Week

After much deliberating, I’ve made one heck of a decision. I’m NOT organising Logan Writers’ festival in 2011 …Why NOT, you ask?
Yesterday manifested itself as a sample day of what my life would be like, if I continued on the festival path.
A day of incessant emails, messages, phone calls, incorporation rules … and reams of paper work. And worst still I could only squeeze in an hour of creative writing, my real passion.
Too easy to say YES and keep on the organising, planning, paper generating route, living up to the expectations of others.

Last year I delivered the very successful Logan Writers Week, pretty much on my own. Planning that six day event ate into my creative writing time. This year promised my paperwork and time consumed would double with compulsory Incorporation and liability insurance. I had to make a decision fast.

With much angst, I’m saying NO …
… NO to incorporating Logan Writers INC
… NO to filling out flippin’ forms, begging for sponsors and donations and applying for a grant.
… NO to spending hundreds of hours orchestrating Logan Writers Week.

img_3056But I’m not giving up on Logan Writers … quite the opposite.
I’ll continue supporting them by…
•    Nurturing existing and new writers in the Logan City area.

•    Raising the profile of Logan Writers within the Logan and Brisbane Communities.

•   Leading a multi-genre writing group and coordinating other writing groups within Logan.

•    Sending out regular eNewsletters on upcoming events for Logan Writers

•    Organising Coffee Club meets for writers to network

Yesterday my son’s words challenged my previous course of action, ‘Are you a Writer’s festival organiser? … I thought you were a writer?’
Who’s the REAL Karen Tyrrell anyway?

I asked myself … ‘What am I most passionate about?’
Mental Health projects, supporting Logan Writers … and writing of course … That’s what I’ll be concentrating on in 2011.
Thanks to all those who’ve offered their time and energy with Logan Writers Week especially Logan Library programmer Rowena Wilmott, Stephanie Azri, Peter Garbett, Cate Black, Lin Hall and Jodi Cleghorn.

Hope I haven’t disappointed too many people … Hope you understand. xx

(I’ve edited this Blog. KT)

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28 comments to Why I’m NOT organising Logan Writers’ Week

  • Sue Bond

    That’s an important decision to make, Karen, and good on you for being brave enough to do it! We all have to recognise what sucks up all our time and takes away our energy for what we really want (and need) to do. And also what impacts negatively on our mental health in the process. You are a very inspiring person.

  • Thank you Sue, for understanding my decision. I’ve grappled with it for the last two days weighing the pros and cons. I had to stop the process today before the arranged Incorp0ration meeting tomorrow … Karen :))

  • Peter Garbett

    Good on you for being able to strike some balance – indeed congratulations. Your actions are an inspiration to us all to be able to say “no” at times. Keep following your passion/s – be encouraged!

  • Thanks Peter. I knew you would understand. Saying “no” was difficult but I know its the best decision for me … Karen :))

  • I applaude you for this Karen. It is too easy to get sucked into what we ‘think we should do’ rather than do what we ‘want’ to do. I’ve had to think about this many times, as I intended to only ever be a writer, not an editor and publisher. At the moment 40+ hours is going into editing and publishing and I’m lucky to scrape together and hour or two to write every week.

    When editing and publishing stops being something I love and get a kick out of (thankfully there is not a lot of horrid paperwork) I’ll have to reassess if it’s the path I want to continue you. We recently had to assess the project we were involved in and make some tough choices about not taking on certain ones – simply because our passion didn’t lie there.

    I think it is a failure of the grants application progress that requires grant applicatons to be supported by paperwork proving incorporation – especially for a one off event which has a proven history.

    Onwards, and upwards as they say. And may your writing find its wings, its thermal and you soar this year.

  • Hi Jodi,
    When we let our passion be our guide, we can’t go wrong. Unfortunately my passion for Logan Writers Week was squashed by the reality of paper work and my “Creative Hours” being eaten away.

  • Yay – great decision. Hope you have an amazing writing year.

  • Can totally understand this, Karen. I’m sure there’ll be people disappointed – but not in you. They’ll be missing the good stuff – but I’m sure they’ll understand. You can’t do everything!

  • That’s understandable Karen, you still have to bake bread and earn coin to pay the bills. It doesn’t come with writing quickly. Life is all about balance, which we are all striving for on a daily basis one way or another. The decision you made Karen is in effort to find that balance.

  • Sonja

    When your passion is for writing and the promotion of issues around Mental Health, you can’t allow yourself to be distracted by ‘shiny things’. An events coordinator is entirely another profession and a full-time job. My experience is that if you are willing to do it, they will let you. Not always a lot of help forthcoming. The sighs of relief from those not ‘doing’ are almost audible. Warren Buffett said, “The most important investment you can make is in yourself”. I followed your journey when you organised the event. You were stressed to the max and exhausted almost to the point of collapse. None of this is good for either your physical and mental health, let alone your creativity. Once again you have demonstrated your honesty and strength by standing up and saying, “No”. You are a totally credible and committed creative writer. Stay true to yourself..keep the balance….continue to inspire and share with us. You have my respect.

  • Hi Michelle, I’m not up to the “YAY stage” yet with this decision. Its still very raw as I know there’ll be an impact … But I have so many ideas for my writing and I want to do them justice :))

  • Hi Kat,
    Thanks for understanding my decision. Still grappling with the repercussions. I plan to rewrite my goals for the year with a new positive outlook :))

  • Hi Anthony,
    Glad you understand my turn-around was governed by time restraints and paper work. I’ve not given up on offering Logan Writers opportunities. And I’m investigating an alternate model … Karen :))

  • Hi Sonja,
    Thanks so much for your support and insight into my motivations and passions. Yes, last year I was very stressed leading up to Logan Writers Week in October. Its only February and I felt the pressure already with Incorporation.
    I’m investigating less stressful ways to promote Logan Writers :))

  • Tab

    Hey Karen,
    Wow, that sounds like a hard decision to have made. We do have to stay focused though on what it is we are passionate about and make decisions accordingly. I applaud your convictions.

    So does this mean Logan Writer’s week isn’t happening this year?
    Also you said you were helping writers connect through local writing groups. I was wondering what those groups were and if they were accepting new members? I am connected with on line groups, but it would be so nice to have face to face contact with other writers.

    have a great rest of your week.

  • Helen Howell

    Yep- We only get one life Karen -So why not go for the dream.
    Sounds as tho’ you’re on the brink of a breakthru with your creative work and that’s terrific- and to centre all your thoughts in that direction seems to me a chance worth taking – Most def….. Really admire your determination to stay on course with you writing. It’s the only way to make it happen

  • Hi Tab,
    What happens to Logan Writers Week depends on other members of the group wishing to apply for Incorporation and a grant. For me, I’m looking at simpler models to promote Logan Writers.
    I’m email you soon about the other writing groups. You have a great week too … Karen :))

  • Thanks Helen,
    I’m dreaming up BIG at the moment, putting my energy into my writing and creative choices :))

  • rebecca dobbie

    Hey Karen…like so many have already said this is a very brave move and I fully support and understand it. The fact you said No is an indication of your strength. We should all say no sometimes and I am very sure you have made the right decision. Well done…

  • Thanks Rebecca for “walking in my shoes” and understanding my decision. We all get into the habit of saying “yes” to every opportunity, and saying “no” is a shock to the system. But it can be a wonderful relief … Talk soon xx

  • Gayle

    Hi Karen, Congratulations on reaching your decision; I know how hard it must have been to say “No”. At the moment my head is spinning because I’ve taken on a lot more than I had planned, and I love all the different things that I’m involved with, but I know that it’s only for a couple of months and then I can slow down a bit. Miss Patty Paws will be happy to have a bit more of me to herself, as I’m sure your family will appreciate having a different Karen around the place. Happy creative writing, old friend.

  • Congratulations on making such a momentous decision Karen. I sometimes think that remaining true to ourselves is one of the biggest challenges we face. It’s so easy to bend to other’s expectations of us, to want to please everyone, that we forget we have to please ourselves and do right by us first. Its not always an easy lesson and it’s reassuring to see that others have learned and can implement it.

    Well done on having the strength of character to know what you want and the direction you’re taking and the courage to hold yourself to your true path.

  • Thanks Gayle,
    for understanding and supporting my decision. I’m looking forward to the hundreds and hundreds of hours gained for creative writing. Hope you can slow down soon too:))

  • Thanks Rebecca for your kind and generous words of support. It was a soul-searching decision to make. But the right one for me and my family:))

  • Lexie Mitchell

    You’ve already done this Karen. Now it’s time for yourself while the ball is rolling as it has been for You. There will be other times.

  • Thanks Lexie for understanding. The choice was my future key role for the next 12months. Administrator or writer? And you know my choice.

  • Saying ‘yes’, is easy. Saying no – is hard. Well done you! I’ve been a person who struggled to say no and have paid dearly. Like you, I’ve put my writing last too many times and I’m both proud of you and in awe. Well done. I’m sure the event will still blossom.

  • Thanks Kerri for understanding as a writer. Saying NO has freed up my time already to write and taken the pressure off :))

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