To become a better writer, one must not only practice but also learn. And what better way to learn than to attend a writers’ festival, offering a celebration of the art of writing, as well as advice in how to hone one’s own skills. You can set aside one weekend of diligently writing and studying to see how other writers have become what they are today.
But sometimes you have to travel far, and go beyond your comfort zone, to take up such an opportunity. This week I will be heading to a whole new world (for me) to learn from the best. I'm off to Mildura. A country town. Just on the border in the north-west of Victoria. For the Mildura Writers Festival.
|Vital question: how will the coffee experience compare?|
What am I going to eat? What should I even bring?
These questions have been flying through my mind as I've tried to figure out the best plan of attack. Luckily, I am going with someone. Two good friends of mine. But, being the age we are (young), laziness and procrastination meant that it was only a few weeks ago when we finally decided on a place to stay.
Some things to consider when finding a place to stay are: How much is it going to cost? Does it have WiFi (essential)? How far is it from the actual event? If it is far, how will we get to the event? Are there buses?
|Not the exact train we are taking, but still - very exciting!|
When it comes to travel, it is all up to personal preference. Do you have the money to fork out for a plane? It is the quickest option if you're short on time. Do you own a car? If so, are you fine with having to drive for roughly six hours from Melbourne? Also, are you taking people with you, and are they chipping in for petrol? Or, if you don’t mind the time it would take, you could either take the train and coach combo. Which is roughly seven hours worth of travel. If traveling with friends, at least you can keep each other entertained with some form of banter. Or, there is always the night coach option. Get on at 7:30pm and sleep the travel away, arriving at 6:30am the next day. After a long discussion and weighing up options, my friends and I have decided to take the train and coach. It seems like a good option for us. No one has to drive, and we can sleep if we want to!
|I would like my rice express please.|
No extra on shipping,
|So hard to choose which to use -|
my Mac, or my notebook?
It may also be worth checking what the weather will be like. Is it placethat is warm during the day and cold during the night? Is rain approaching? Best pack that umbrella. How are you going to carry everything with you during the festival? Do you want to use a backpack or a messenger bag? Which is more comfortable and less of a hindrance? These all depend on what you own, or what you are willing to spend to make your life easier when walking around from place to place. I find a nice messenger bag or drawstring nylon backpack work best. Both take up little space, and you can fit most required items easily. No one wants to be knocked out by your bag because you decided to turn too quickly with that bulky bag on your back.
|Do you like my Vault-Tec messenger bag?|
|Don’t forget shampoo,|
1. Be sure to have a place booked and that it fits the needs you require
2. Make sure transport has been sorted out, and you arrive at the destination at a reasonable hour.
3. Have an idea of what food you would like to eat, and how much it would cost you. Don’t have the money to go out overnight? Then don’t do it - bring a rice cooker instead.
4. Bring the right materials that best fit your needs. Nothing worse than getting to your destination and realising you left behind your phone charger or a change of underwear! And lastly ...
5. Have an idea of what to ask writers, and what you want to do for assignments. A prepared student is a good student.
And lastly, this is really the most important point - just have fun! Writing is an enjoyable hobby and experience. Being surrounded by other writers tends to fill you with determination and inspiration to get your own writing done and done well.
So enjoy your time at the Mildura Writing Festival. I know I will.