While I was at first skeptical about leaving my warm bed on a cold Tuesday night, I left the Writer to Writer event extremely happy and pleased. This was the first event I have attended where a successful writer and academic was interviewed by another successful writer and academic. I thought that this dynamic was incredible because both Shelley and Dr. Thompson were always on the same page. They truly understood each other and this made the audience feel like they could understand them as well. I felt as though I was included in the conversation.
Literati was a great venue to have Writer to Writer. It felt homey and inviting. It is a wonderful feeling being in the audience with people who love writing just as much as you do. Everyone there trekked out on the cold Tuesday night because they wanted to be there. This feeling could definitely be felt throughout the room. As Dr. Thompson spoke about specific details about her research and as she read from her book, the audience was all on the edge of their seats.
I have never taken a history class at the University of Michigan, so before the event I was not sure what being an historian exactly entailed. I loved how Dr. Thompson compared being an historian to being a detective. It was so inspiring listening to Dr. Thompson because she is so passionate about what she does. I hope that one day I can be as passionate as she is in my professional life.
What struck me as most useful and insightful was how Dr. Thompson said that there is always a story, but it is about how you choose to convey the story that matters. As a writer, your voice is so important because it is yours and only yours. How we choose to convey stories and experiences to the world shows the world who we are.
I left wanting to know more about how Dr. Thompson decided how she wanted to convey the stories she researched. As she explained, she is writing for so many people and from so many different perspectives. How is she able to come to her decisions? If I were in her position I would struggle making a decision, and then probably change my decision many times before sticking with it. I also find it so amazing how she stuck with her book for thirteen years. That amount of commitment is truly inspiring.
I did not ask a question at the Q&A because frankly I was just enjoying listening to other intelligent people. I appreciated hearing from not only Dr. Thompson, but also other people in the audience who had important questions and comments to say as well. I loved how people in the audience nodded when people would ask Dr. Thompson questions. It seemed as though we were all on the same page and really created a sense of community.
Overall, the Writer to Writer event was inspiring. I wish more college students would attend because it really makes you think about yourself and what it important to you. I learned insights about how to be a better writer, but also insights about life as well. For example, I learned the importance of balancing a tragic event so that it does not undermine the event but does not dissuade the reader, and I learned that even the best of the best can always improve.