Hard to believe, right? Winning a single contest could change the path of your life so irreversibly, but it did.
Like most writers, I grew up wanting to be a writer and for a number of what seemed like very practical reasons didn’t pursue it. Years later, after getting an education, getting married, and three kids, I found myself in a new town with a lot of time on my hands.
I sat down one day and started a story. I went through three Bic pens and two notebooks writing that story. I had a blast. A woman in my church was starting a writing group and she invited me to attend. I went, but in the back of my mind was solidly convinced that at any minute they would all discover I was a fraud. I was just a wannabe. I was no writer.
One night I arrived to learn that one of the ladies was being sent to a Christian writer’s conference by her employer and she encouraged all of us to go. I leaned back in my seat and stared at the poster. We barely had money for food, there was no way I could afford to attend a conference.
Later, that woman called me and said there was a contest and first prize was free registration. She encouraged me to enter. If I lost, she’d personally pay my way.
It’s amazing how much courage a little support can muster, so I looked at that book I had written and pulled out a small scene and tweaked it a little. With one eye closed I hit send and hoped for the best.
And I won!
At that conference I met one of my best friends, I met other people who loved to write too, and I came home convinced that maybe I wasn’t a fraud. Maybe I was sorta good at this. And the rest, as they say is history.
Anyway, all that to say a giant leap of faith began something I never imagined could happen. The majority of my connections and networks were made at this conference, and I’m deeply grateful for all the opportunities, advice, and encouragement. I feel very blessed to be able to serve as Assistant Director this year and pay it forward.
Write Canada is in Toronto from June 11-13, 2015. You have a chance to win free registration by blogging about the conference, or why you’d like to attend. Get creative. Post the link on The Word Guild Facebook Page or tag @thewordguild on Twitter (deadline is May 1st). Or just register!
Next week we’ll continue with the regularly scheduled Facebook series.
Has a writing conference impacted your writing or writing career? I’d love to hear about it.