Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Year of Living Dangerously – Cahoon edition

A few months ago, the PRO liaison for RWA issued a challenge. Make 2011 the year of living dangerously in your writing. She suggested trying a new market, sending your work out to agents and editors, or try writing a new genre.

I’ve been thinking about this challenge a lot. How can I stretch out of my comfort area and take a chance? And this is what I’ve come up with for now. I’ll update this list as new challenges arise.

Side note: I was listening to a speaker on making plans. She said you only have to plan three steps. Three. Because by the time you have accomplished those three steps, new pathways have opened up and it’s time to plan three more. Three that you might not have known about before you took those three steps.

January living dangerously steps:

Sign up for Missouri writer’s conference. This April conference is with in driving distance – no need for overnight accommodations and they have fiction and essay presenters who I can learn from and one of my dream agents taking pitches. And I get to meet a cozy mystery author I love.

Send off a short story to Women’s World. This is a tight market. 800 word stories have to be emotional, tightly written and satisfying. I’ve learned my draft is way over the story limits and my challenge is cutting word length.

Commit to attending RWA nationals. Still working out the money bugs on this one. But as Kevin Costner’s character learned in Field of Dreams, if you plan it, it will come. (Paraphrasing just a bit.)

Volunteer to give a coffee talk presentation for our local chapter. Generational Characters. This one is harder. I’ve got a topic, some of the research material, and the date. Now to just write the darn training. You would think since I used to do this for a living I wouldn’t be so nervous.

But I guess that’s what the year of living dangerously is all about. To stretch. To grow. And to take chances.

What challenges have you taken on lately?


Joe Richardson said...

Challenges? None at present, I'm afraid, which is far too telling.

But in 2011, I'd like to pick up a couple things I've never done. Archery, perhaps. And maybe a high tech form of orienteering, which I could do with my family.

Right now I'd settle for being able to pronounce words using "s" and "th" without sounding like Kaa from The Jungle Book. That'd be the bees knees.

Ah, to dream...

Lynn said...

Pronunciation after what you've gone through is challenge enough.

I forgot to add, I'm getting professional pictures done on Saturday. I've kind of picked out my clothes. Maybe.

And tomorrow is my annual appointment with the oncology group. Fun times.