It took me a long time to be able to say “I am a runner!” For a long time, even though I was running several times a week, training for races, and beginning my obsession with the sport, I still felt very much like a fake. Even after running 5 half-marathons in the last 7 months (wow, that’s weird to say), I’m only just beginning to consider myself a runner and only just beginning to feel comfortable labeling myself that way.
Same for my writing. For the last two and a half years, my job has been to write. Write stewardship reports, write gift terms, write letters – to write. But, I am only just beginning to consider myself a writer. I think this blog has played a pivotal role in my ability to finally label myself as such, but perhaps I needed writing to be both my job and my hobby for me to feel comfortable calling myself a writer.
Attending the CASE Persuasive Writing conference in Austin, TX was great. It was definitely awkward representing Harvard at times – as “the best”, the “industry standard”, there felt like there was an expectation that we would perfect and know everything. Although some aspects of the conference were tough and the session leaders seemed to be especially hard on me (Even my colleagues from other schools noticed it and offered to buy me drinks at our networking event to make up for it!).
After reading the session leaders’ fairly positive feedback on my first assignment (yes, we had daily writing assignments that were due by 5pm each evening and they were graded), and the fact that they shared my second assignment with the class as an example of good writing, I’m finally beginning to believe that maybe I can make it in this writing business.
Over the three days I was in Austin, I spent my time either writing, eating, or running. I woke up early every morning to get a run in before the conference would start, and really enjoyed exploring the area this way. I spent two mornings running around Town Lake and my third morning running around the capital building. Here are some pictures!