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.