In honor of Christmas and the solstice this week, we’re each blogging about our moments when we stepped “into the light”–that is to say, the moment we thought we just might succeed at writing. And I can’t seem to get the song “This Little Light of Mine” out of my head, so I’m just gonna go with it.
The first time I thought I might actually make this author thing work was also the first time I invested in myself financially as a writer. For me, this meant signing up for and attending a writers’ conference in my hometown.
On a drizzly April day I put on what I thought was an “artsy” looking outfit: black dress, black tights and boots, and a colorful scarf. I picked up my nametag and binder at the check-in desk, and planted myself in a chair to take in as much information as I could about writing, both as a craft and as an industry.
I came away from that conference realizing that I had a lot learn about the business of writing and selling books. But I also had a concrete checklist in my mind of what I needed to do to help myself get there. First and foremost, I needed to get my manuscript in the best shape possible. I needed a website. I started a blog. I signed up for another conference. I honed my pitch and query letter.
But more important than all of those things was the fact that I had sat in a room full of writers and said, implicitly, “I am one of you.” No longer was it enough to tap at my computer keyboard in the comfort of my apartment. My work, and the creative side of me, needed to step into the sun.