Barry Lopez (www.barrylopez.com) was the keynote speaker for this year’s Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference (http://writersconference.homer.alaska.edu/). He shared his ideas with us thoughtfully and reverently. He sees the writer as the “reader’s companion, not authority.” The writer can share stories with his or her community as a member of the group. Lopez told us how he asked people in traditional cultures about the storyteller’s role. An Inuit translation of storyteller is “the person who creates the atmosphere in which wisdom creates itself.” Wow. What a great role to have, and a great responsibility.
Barry Lopez stated the “desire to be connected to another human being is fundamental.” The writer can help create connections, can speak universal truths about people, about the world in which we live, in a way that helps others. We have an opportunity to make a difference in the world. That is what I want to do with my writing.
Of course, that was a highlight but not the only thing I learned at the conference. There were too many excellent faculty and fellow writers to list here, but I heard great ideas about revision, point of view, endings, even social media, LOL. 🙂 I learned so much from this event, and I feel inspired from hanging out with other writers for five days. I am so lucky to attend this conference every summer.