Taking Chances


It may seem like everything that I have going on in my life is deliberate. The truth is that many of the good things happen because I take a chance that turns out better than I expected.

Take my writing group, for example. I went to a small press book fair at Jack Purcell Community Centre. I wanted to see what the small press thing was about and thought I may meet some other writers. I met two “old guys” who were excited to meet another sci-fi writer. They promptly invited me to come to one of their houses for a meeting on writing. I was a little hesitant, they could be creeps after all, but I figured they were probably legit as they were both there selling their books.

So I went to the first meeting last June, which happened to be the last of the year before a break for summer. It was fantastic! I was so inspired to write, though I didn’t know much about how to critique another’s work. I think I’ve improved in that regard as I used to get stuck on grammar suggestions rather than the guts of the story.

I never thought I’d find a writer’s group simply by showing up to a book fair. Hell, I didn’t even really know writers groups were a thing at that time. I thought I’d maybe make one acquaintance and find at least one interesting book to read.

My writing was rather directionless before that. I knew I would find a way to get published “someday”, but I wasn’t putting much effort into writing. I was a little lost and trying to find my voice.

Since then, I’ve gotten feedback on several stories and been connected to information like books that help improve my writing. I’m close to publishing a short story. I sent a story into a contest in May. I’m working through the second draft of an urban fantasy novel set in Ottawa. I have so many story ideas and keep coming up with more, but I’ve learned the discipline of not working on too many things at once.

And the two “old guys” are fantastic gentlemen that I feel immensely thankful for meeting.

Chances I Took

– I left my house.

Netflix is fun, but doesn’t move your career along. If you want something, you need to go out and get it. You can still watch TV shows, just do it a bit less.

– I went to the book fair alone.

I know a lot of people that refuse to go anywhere alone. I’ve found it beneficial in the networking sense to go to things alone as one never has to worry their friend is bored.

– I went to a stranger’s home.

Okay this one was possibly dangerous as a tiny female, but thankfully worked out. Just be careful and smart about it. They were legitimate writers inviting me to a writing thing.

What’s Next?

My writing group is putting together a plan to take a more active role in helping each other succeed. Beyond critiquing each other’s work, we’re going to help each other get to market. It’s not entirely clear what that means yet, but I look forward to the challenges ahead and I couldn’t have a better group of people to face them with.

Immediate Writing Goals

– Revise Chapter 1 of The Page & The Magician before next week’s reading of it
– Finish the current edit of my short story, The Blood Waitress Club

Ciao,
R~

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7 thoughts on “Taking Chances

  1. So good to have writers in a community, whether face-to-face or online. You go, girl! I am curious about that story, The Blood Waitress Club, and can’t wait to hear where it will be published. Have a very good week!

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  2. Finding a writing group that you click with is priceless. I have learned so much from my NaNoWriMo group that decided to keep meeting after November. It’s awesome that you guys are branching out to help each other get published. Good luck from a ROW80 blog hopping friend.

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  3. Congrats on challenging yourself!

    It’s true, you have to get out there to get noticed and published. While it’s scary the first time, once you do it once, then the next time is easier. In fact I am going to go to a convention next month, a solo! I have proven I can go to one with someone, have fun and meet my mentor, and it’s not scary. So, this time I will go by myself!

    Here’s to thinking outside the outside. Happy writing and editing!!

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    • The first writing event I ever went to was a book launch. Several of the writers I’m now friends with were reading their works. I was pretty shy and didn’t talk a whole lot. I mostly observed and listened.

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