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  • [MAKING THE LEAP] T-Boned by Opportunity
[MAKING THE LEAP] T-Boned by Opportunity
Contributor
Written by
Julie Luek
February 2013
Contributor
Written by
Julie Luek
February 2013

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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Comments
  • Tina L. Hook

    I'm saying yes to (and seeking out) opportunities to talk about my books the old-fashioned way-- in person, even if it means I'm the least known writer in the room or if I'm sitting in a living room full of book club readers.

    I think I originally imagined my ebooks floating out to a modest number of computer savvy strangers while I did most of my marketing online, because, hey, that sounded efficient and with the times.  (And because off-colored jokes about indie writers selling books out of their own garages made me cringe with embarrassment.) But most of my demand is coming from another direction, and I choose to embrace that regardless of where that puts me on the writerly food chain.  I've come to believe that what is most important is that I'm having meaningful interactions with my readers and potential readers.

  • Jagoda Perich-Anderson

    I really like the metaphor, "...on a collision course with success." Looks like you're well on your way. Congratulations on your courage to say yes and go for it!

  • Laura Davis

    Julie, I will. At this point, it's terrifying just to say it publicly, even on this very safe forum. But putting it out there deepens my commitment.

  • Carol Hogan

    Hi Julie,

    Your post made me realize that I haven't been taking advantage of "Yes" for a while. I used to "give things a shot" all the time, but lately I've become lazy, or maybe fearful. I"m a lot like Laura Davis below. I published stories for 30 years, then stopped writing and went into public relations. There was a lot of writing in that business as well, but not the kind I really love. And I miss the gnawing concern of a possible "no thanks" that comes when you send your work out for publication. But just lately I've wondered, what's the worst that can happen? I used to live my life like that all the time. I dared to return to school and graduated late in life. Now I have a B.A. What am I going to do next? I think I'll follow your advice and move from "not doin' that," to "yes."

    Aloha, Carol Hogan

  • Julie Luek

    Ah Laura-- I have a bit of envy (but the kind that is cheering you on). I keep kicking around that idea but for the life of me, can't think of anything about myself that would be interesting enough. I love memoirs. Yay to you for saying yes to this project. Keep me posted on your progress please. 

  • Laura Davis

    After publishing seven best-selling nonfiction books, and not publishing anything new in 10 years, I have made the commitment to finally write that memoir I've toyed with for many years. I'm excited and scared to death!