A month of moving forward

This past weekend, I took part in an intensive three-day social media “boot camp” at Ryerson University. The workshop was the last of four work/writing-related events I attended over the past month, as part of my post-downsizing journey.

Exactly a month ago, September 22, I began with Toronto’s Word on the Street festival, where I attended half a dozen back-to-back workshops offered by the Humber School for Writers. Next was a Canadian Media Guild panel discussion for freelance journalists, then a JVS job fair.

I didn’t seek out any of these events. I saw a newspaper ad for Word on the Street, and happened to notice the writing workshops being offered there. The panel discussion was announced on LinkedIn, and a Ryerson workshop – not the one I ended up going to – was also announced on LinkedIn, leading me in a roundabout way to the one I attended. I learned about the job fair from an email.

I like that serendipity played a role in my finding these events, and I like that they  all took place within a month. It was significant for me to get out of my dining room/home office and away from my computer screen.

I left my job four months ago not knowing what was next, but doing my best to be open to opportunities, and pursuing the ones that present themselves and also “feel right.”

Now that my calendar has cleared for at least the next few weeks, I think it’s time to consolidate and implement what I’ve learned over the past month.

Out of the dining room

Two days ago, I OD’d on sessions for writers at Toronto’s annual Word on the Street festival.  I’m still processing everything I learned at the literary event’s “Wordshop Marquee,” hosted by the Humber School for Writers.

I’ve had a book percolating in my head for the last few years, and after I was downsized in June, I began to work on it more consistently.

So I was naturally drawn to sessions like “The Insider’s Guide to Getting Published” and “How to Write a Bestseller.” I returned home with copious notes. Yesterday, I highlighted the nuggets I think will be useful, plus the ones that validate what I already know. I have yet to go through all the literature I brought home about various writers’ groups.

But content aside, I think my attendance at the sessions marked a turning point in my journey toward whatever is next for me, career-wise.

For the past three months, my “home office,” aka my dining room, has been the focus of my “work” life. It’s where I write my blog posts, connect on LinkedIn, and sort through more than 20 years of old notes, deciding what to recycle or shred as I shift my attention to new priorities.

Last week, I signed up for a three-day social media workshop that I learned of indirectly through a LinkedIn group. Tonight, I plan to attend an event for freelance journalists. As well, I recently received an e-mail about an upcoming job fair, which I’ve added to my calendar.

All of a sudden, my calendar is filling up with events… and possibility.

No blog posts on Thursday or Friday of this week – the last of the Jewish holidays! I’ll be back on Sunday.