Doors close. 18th floor. Doors open. Anticipation.
The elevator ride to the Girls Write Now office always feels like walking through the linen closet from the Sabrina The Teenage Witch television series—as if you’re about to be transported into another realm where magic is the norm. Which, long story short, is what does happen once those metal doors open. No longer are you in the mortal realm; instead, you’re entering the magical community of good witches and charmed ones—better known as mentors and mentees.
At the GWN Orientation for 2012-13, we all mounted our brooms and took a trip through the galaxy. We used our words from the Opening Lines exercise to craft our own constellations in groups. A ball of yarn was unrolled and passed around to every member that spoke, which in turn formed a labyrinth of string. Our constellations voiced our ideal lifestyles, traditions, goals and personal values. Through commonalities and differences, we discovered that the tales we shared created a web that connected all of us. It taught us our first lesson for the upcoming year: our stories will always have a place with each other, no matter what they are.
After crafting constellations, next we searched through the cluster of stars to find our guiding lights, better known to GWN as “Speed Dating,” where mentors and mentees talk to each other in an attempt to find a match. As a returning mentee, my mentor and I decided to continue working with each other, so instead we joined the returning pairs group. Our task was a collaborative drawing, and with the artistic abilities most writers don’t possess, we definitely shared a few laughs.
In the closing hours of the day, mentees and mentors gathered round to express which three GWN core values we held true to ourselves as female writers in New York. I chose courage, creativity and excellence: Courage to express my Creativity at its full potential, and Excellence to shape it into the best it can be. Through the magic of community, we transformed our core values into stars that we attached to the official constellations in the GWN galaxy: expression, community, exploration, passion and support.
Walking out of the GWN office and back into the elevator may take us out of our enchanted realm momentarily, but we’ve got an entire year ahead of us–Orientation was just the beginning. So don’t worry good witches and charmed ones: the magic that flows out of our pens has just started its journey.
Doors close. Ground floor. Doors open. Confidence.