[MAKING THE LEAP] T-Boned by Opportunity

Last summer while visiting my mom, we took a drive out to the country to stroll a farmer’s market. I drove her car and at one of the intersections she suddenly piped up, “Be careful here. It’s easy to get ham-boned.”

I looked at her a bit confused. “Do you mean t-boned?”

She started laughing. “Yes, t-boned.”

“Or some kind of cut of meat,” I bantered. Then it became a joke.  At the next intersection I asked, “Should I be careful here, too? I don’t want to get sirloined.”

Knock

The loosely made point here is, last year—as I've noted here before—my writer's identity got ham-boned. After completing that pesky manuscript for my debut novel, I realized I didn't really want to write fiction. Bam! Sirloined!

But, fortunately, my love of writing and determination didn't take the hit, just the type of writing I had been pursuing. I needed to pick up the pieces and find a new direction. With renewed conviction, I decided to make this year, the Year Of Yes.

A popular theory currently touted proclaims if you open yourself to the universe, putting your desires and requests out there, it will respond by opening the doors. I don’t know about that. My beliefs tend to run more towards a source of faith, but the point is well-taken: if we’re not open and looking for opportunities, we won’t see them.

So during my Year Of Yes, I have determined if an opportunity presents itself to me, I will not hesitate in fear or cave to insecurity. I will just say yes. I am taking this even a step further: if a writing idea occurs to me, I will seek a way to get it published. This is a bit riskier; it means actually knocking on a few doors, not just being content to open the ones that present themselves to me.

And It Shall Be Opened To You

Here’s what’s happened since I adopted this new attitude:

  • I am writing an article for a website I feel totally unqualified for. I had an idea and the site put out a call. I responded. They…gulp…accepted. Despite my insecurity, I'm pulling the piece together.
  • I am now a monthly contributor of a nonfiction column to a fiction writer’s website. (Anyone else note the irony here?) because I audaciously knocked and just asked, “Hey, can I write for this blog?”  
  • A published author and acquaintance, with about four times the followers than I have, put out a call for guest-contributors. Who was I to think I could write on her site? But in my new-found spirit of saying yes, I wrote her an inquiry email and...she accepted!
  • Recently, another writer-site put out a call for contributors for a special-topic on their blog. Did I let my lack of expertise keep me from responding to the call? Not in the Year of Yes! I'm slated for a spot in April.

Smacked by Opportunity

It seems obvious, I know. But it’s such a freeing, exhilarating and scary feeling to start seizing opportunities. It means risking rejection (inevitable), stepping outside what is comfortable and known, and pushing the boundaries and knowledge a bit. It also means growing and embracing new experiences and perhaps, yes, even new successes.

Ultimately,here’s what I figure: if I’m going to be at an intersection in life, and I am at risk of getting t-boned, I might as well be on a possible collision course with opportunities and success.

What writing risks have you taken? How do you go about opening doors for opportunity? What doors have you looked at, gulped, and raised a shaky knuckle to? Will this be your Year of Yes?

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Comment by Julie Luek on February 24, 2013 at 5:33pm

Hi Bonnie-- I do not receive a stipend from SheWrites. I do, however, have a few paid prospects with other websites and also with traditional print magazines. It's not easy to make a living, for sure. 

Comment by Bonnie McCune on February 24, 2013 at 5:28pm

A question for you--do you require some sort of stipend to participate online?  I was a freelancer for years, but with the death of so many print publications, I can't figure out how to make any money.  I'm concentrating on fiction now, but that doesn't seem to pay very often.  Bonnie McCune, BonnieMcCune.com

Comment by Julie Luek on February 22, 2013 at 9:22pm

Carla-- Keep me posted on how this works out for you! Excited to see what may open up for you. 

Comment by Carla Burrows on February 22, 2013 at 3:25pm

Wow. I really like this idea. "Yes" is a word that I have embraced mentally, however this post helps me to see that I need to embrace it completely. I think I am going ot adopt your quote for myself this is my "Year of Yes".

http://www.carlaburrows.com 

Comment by Julie Luek on February 22, 2013 at 5:47am

Hi Jennifer-- so far, it's helped me look beyond the fear of trying new writing avenues and actually get more and different kinds of writing experience. Thanks. 

Comment by Kathryn Meyer Griffith on February 21, 2013 at 7:43pm

Thanks for your input. This is how we learn what we have to learn when we most need to learn it. There are no coincidences. And good luck with your writing career as well. As long as you are happy doing what you do, that's all that matters. Kathryn

Comment by Julie Luek on February 21, 2013 at 6:28pm

RYCJ--I believe "pork chopped" also came into the conversation. ;)  She's almost 80; we'll forgive the meat mix-up.

Kathryn--I'm glad you found Kill Zone helpful. Even though I don't write mystery, their advice and collective knowledge is extensive. Absolutely all the best to you with your book! 

Comment by Kathryn Meyer Griffith on February 21, 2013 at 6:03pm

Thanks Julie!

I went to Kill Zone and now I have another Blog on my Favorites. BTW, I'm having a FREE giveaway right now on Amazon Kindle until Feb. 24 for my new vampire book Human No Longer. I'm trying the Giveaways. Wish me luck! Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Comment by RYCJ on February 21, 2013 at 6:01pm

Oh, how funny, and too, point well taken. I don't think there will ever be a day when I hear t-bone, sirloin, ham-bone, and or how about any piece of meat with a bone in it and not think of this post. Timely and marvelous. Thanks for this.

Comment by Julie Luek on February 21, 2013 at 5:24pm

S. Romos-- and an excellent confirmation of what saying yes can do for our writing careers. I'll look forward to seeing the fruit of all your responses. 

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