Over the years, I’ve done a lot of waiting around for opportunities to come my way. Some I’ve jumped on, some I’ve dithered too long over, others have passed me by completely.
But, you can’t always sit back and wait for opportunity to come knocking. Because it very rarely does.
And, if you find yourself complaining that there’s nothing out there for you, or nothing in your local area, then this blog post is definitely for you. Time to pull up your socks, and start creating your own opportunities.
Step 1: Just ask.
I remember the first time I asked an author how they managed to get an opportunity, and they said “I just asked.” Honestly? I didn’t believe them. I scoffed. I figured there must have been something else. Something they weren’t telling me. Some secret thing that I didn’t know. I was wrong. Seriously; just ask. The worst thing someone can say is ‘no’, and always remember that every ‘no’ is one step closer to that ‘yes’.
Step 2: Network as much as you can with as many people as you can.
Both online and in real life, other authors are your allies, not your competition. Build real, honest relationships and friendships with your peers. Give more to your network than you take. Be available, and approachable, and vocal. Some of the best opportunities I’ve had have come via my network of peers. Be an active member, keep your ear to the ground, and be the person everyone thinks of first when they have an opportunity to share.
Step 3: Start close to home.
Have a look at what is available in your local area. Is there a writing group, a literary convention, an independent bookstore, a library, a reading group? Get out and meet people on your home turf. If there are none of these things, start them. Create a writing group in a local cafe, or a reading group in a pub, or a mini library at the end of your street. If the opportunities don’t exist, make them.
Step 4: Think outside the box.
Much as I hate that phrase, it’s a great idea in this instance. Don’t just think about typically bookish places. In my town, I sell books in a local art gallery. I simply went in, introduced myself, and asked. Where can you sell books locally? Are there craft markets, or farmer’s markets that you can have a stall at? Are there independent shops that might stock them? Try something out of the ordinary, something no one else has thought of.
Step 5: The sky is the limit, and the world is your oyster.
Just give it a go. Try it. Because you never know where it might lead you. For instance, I approached my local library with an idea for a small author event. The idea grew into a huge sci-fi and fantasy convention, which saw almost 2000 people through the door. I’m now organising the 2nd convention, and it’s going to be even bigger.
So, don’t wait around, hoping that the chances might fall into your lap somehow. Go out there, and make your own opportunities happen.
This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. You can visit all the participating blogs, or sign up yourself, HERE.