#BinderCon: Too Short, So Sweet

The first ever BinderCon is over, and I’m feeling so much about this experience.

For those who don’t know, BinderCon is more formally called Out of the Binders: Symposium on Women Writers Today,and it’s amazing. The weekend is a space for writers, agents, and editors—most of them women or gender non-conforming—to come together and support each other in getting published and in publishing.

There was so much that was affirming about this weekend: being in spaces filled overwhelmingly with other writers from marginalised communities, in-jokes, understanding, teaching and learning and sharing. Everyone I talked to was so kind and friendly and helpful. The volunteers were amazing, and the #BinderCon hashtag was constantly running with quotes, thoughts, and connections made.

The only hardships for me were related to limitations largely uncontrollable. Being new and run on a tight budget, only one meal was provided by the con, and that was a little hard to navigate, especially as a non-New Yorker. The workshops/panels happened in different buildings in disparate locations, and there was a lot of walking, made more difficult because of my lodging difficulties: I carried all of my luggage with me for the vast majority of the last three days, and my body is not happy with that, and I ended up missing both of the Sunday keynotes because of my pain and walking issues. The only explicit identity panels—one for/about trans folks and one for/about women of colour—happened in the same time slot at the very end, and I had to miss them to catch my flight.

Still, the space was great, overall. It’s so important for ppl facing marginalisations to have nourishing spaces like this one, where our identities, issues, and experiences are centred and discussed. I feel so loved and inspired from the last three days—I’m excited for all the writing I will do!

 

My question: do you have a nourishing space to go to for support? Can you find one? Maybe brainstorm where you could look for community that supports you in your needs

Let me know in the comments if you have a resource to share!

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Where Did Nap Time Go? #Adulting

I miss nap time. It’s funny, because kids hate nap time. When we are young, we just want to play and run, and even though not napping makes us cranky, we still don’t want to lay down when there are so many other things we could be doing.

Now, I’m about a year away from graduating university, and I miss sleep. Somewhere along the way, I lost the ability to pull all-nighters (at about 23 years old, I suspect); now, if I get anything less than 7 hours of sleep, I’m exhausted and crusty in the morning, and slow all day long. I’m adjusting to this new normal, but I am also a bit of a workaholic, so I sometimes forget I can’t keep going, and then I spend the whole day really needing a nap.

But the thing that has made me feel like an adult more than any other milestone is travel.

The last two summers, I got scholarships to go to the Make Progress Summit in Washington DC, including travel and lodging costs. But since July, I’ve had cause to travel twice on my own, booking all of my own flight and lodging, and that feels like the crossover point, somehow.

When all the flight and hotel is taken care of, I just show up when and where I’m told, but when I book things myself, I have to think of timing and logistics and figure out all the little details myself, and pay for it all. Going through airport security makes me feel like a child: everything is so scary, and I keep waiting to be told that I’m in the wrong place, or that I’m doing something wrong. But booking things feels more responsible, more in control, and more adult.

I’ve been furiously calculating and re-calculating my funds for the weekend, trying to make sure my flight, hotel, and food are all covered. (Shameless plug: if you wanna help cover my costs so I don’t, you know, slip into a diabetic coma on the streets of New York City, you can do that here. I’d definitely appreciate the support.) I got scholarship to attend BinderCon, and I’m really excited to go, even as I’ve been stressing out about money and logistics.

There’s so much to think about for this trip. I’ll be missing a day of work. And I have so many variables and questions: How late can I leave to get there? If I leave for NY Thursday night and take the red-eye, it’s cheaper, but I can’t go to my hotel until after 3pm on Friday, and how will it be to wander NY on little sleep? Can I get coffee and see friends on Friday? How late can I leave on Sunday and still get home at a reasonable time? When will I get homework done? It makes me feel very grown up.

I don’t like it. I’m tired and cranky, and I want someone else to take care of me.

I vote we bring back nap time.