Inspired and Daunted

I participated in two recent writing events that were both inspiring and motivating, but daunting too.

The first event happened a few Saturdays ago when my writing group invited the lovely Denise – a writer, editor and friend – as a guest to our writing group meeting. We met over lunch at my house, and I even made a vegetarian chili for the occasion. Yes, I cooked for a group of women I adore and admire, which was even more intimidating than sending my writing to Denise, a real live editor.

Three hours went by like that. The conversation flowed, and Denise told us all about her experiences in the editing and publishing world. It was fascinating and it made me think that yes, maybe I can do this. I couldn’t wait to get onto my computer and get writing.

Then last Wednesday evening, my writing group, along with a few other interested folks, participated in a workshop led by the lovely Tudor Robins. The topic of the workshop was writing contests and how to use them to take your writing to the next level. Tudor has a lot of knowledge in this area, as well as in many other areas of writing and publishing. Again the conversation, questions and discussions flowed freely, and Tudor was so generous with providing information and resources. Again, I couldn’t wait to get onto my computer and continue writing.

I have told you before that I started this blog to practice my writing skills, with the hope that one day I would try writing some fiction. I realized quickly that writing a blog post and writing a short story are entirely different animals. After a year of working at it though, I have finished two short stories that I quite like, and I even submitted one of these to CBC’s Canada Writes contest. I am not being self-defeating or overly negative in saying that I know that I won’t win – come now, it is my first writing contest after all – but I like my story, and now I am working on yet another one. I am also looking seriously at entering CBC’s next writing contest for creative non-fiction.

One of my big questions to both Denise and Tudor was how can a writer make herself stand out be and noticed. After all, there is a LOT of competition out there. I often wonder if there is any hope that I will ever get published. This is the daunting part in all of this. I work full time and I have fairly young children. Will I ever be able to devote the time and energy it takes? Will I ever get there?

Right now the answer to that question in my mind is maybe; not no, and that is huge for me. Most of the time I feel like an impostor in the writing world (which was another whole area of discussion Thursday night). I’m still not sure where or how far I can go with my writing, but I do know that I am loving it and that I am ready to keep working hard.

And writers like Denise and Tudor make me feel like I have a chance to succeed. Thank you both.

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About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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13 Responses to Inspired and Daunted

  1. Capital Mom says:

    I think that you are moving in the right direction. You are writing, you know that you can and you want it. The words may take time but they will come.

    • Finola says:

      Thank you Brie. It helps to have our writing group as motivation. Have I mentioned how grateful I am to you for starting all of this? Truly, thank you!

  2. Sid says:

    Entering contests is a good idea. I’d also say you should consider trying e-book self-publishing. As many issues are there are with e-books, they can be an amazing way to get yourself out there. Check out this Cinderella story for some inspiration: http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/article/948078–how-a-failed-author-made-2-million-from-e-books

  3. allison says:

    There IS a big difference between writing a blog post and a short story – for me, it turns out, that’s a positive thing. For years I tried to write short stories, and it was excruciating, painful and cringe-inducing. Then I started blogging (which of course I said many times I would NEVER do – most of my principles have the consistency of overcooked spaghetti) and writing blog posts is almost invariably an invigorating, fulfilling, purely joyful experience. I read fiction much more often than non-fiction, but I think my writing voice may not extend to fiction. It’s kind of a liberating realization. That said – you go girl. There are millions of published authors, but they all started where you are now.

    • Finola says:

      I know you could write a story too. For me having a writing group and being accountable made a huge difference.
      But blogging is awesome too because I have been able to meet so many amazing bloggers like you 🙂

  4. Sasha says:

    Finola, I love reading your writing. You’re not an imposter, you’re a writer. Like this post, for instance. There’s a lyrical rhythm to it that takes you from start to finish, and it flies by. Like a few hours spent with smart ladies, talking about writing :).

  5. Katherine says:

    good luck! I agree that you are more a story teller than a blogger – you have the stuff!

  6. Finola says:

    Thanks Katherine, and thank you for stopping by!

  7. Anonymous says:

    No doubt you’ll be published soon enough.

  8. Tudor says:

    It was so great to spend time with all of you too! It’s true there’s quite a lot to getting published but the main thing is trying, trying and trying again. And, of course, it’s important to examine why and how you want to be published. There are more and more avenues these days and choosing the one that’s right for you and meets your goals is the right decision even if it’s different from what you always used to think you’d be aiming for…

  9. Pauline says:

    Well it’s great that you can finish your stories and are getting them out there. (I have a heck of a time finishing any story I start)

    I know someone who had a few short stories published recently in an anthology. He got a lot of rejection, but kept trying and eventually succeeded! Persistence appears to be key! 🙂

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