Jumping Off Buildings and Anthologies

I never would’ve thought in September 2013 (while I was attending KillerCon Convention in Las Vegas) that only a few months later I would be writing a blog for my author site. I accompanied my husband, as I had the year before, and was looking forward to catching up with friends from the last con and spending some quality coupe time. I also planned to take the SkyJump off the Stratoshere, which I had been looking forward to since the previous year.

I did all of those things and I had a great time. But, as I went around to the panels and took a couple of classes and in general soaked up all that creative energy and support, I began to believe that, perhaps, I actually could become a writer.

There are some fun, creative challenges held at KillerCon each year. There is the gross-out, which was most hilarious and the erotic writing competition was titillating, but the stories written in just 15 minutes for the 200 word horror short fiction challenge were amazing.

To begin this challenge, the writers are given 5 words and a phrase that must be included in their story. I didn’t formally participate in the challenge, but I wrote down the words and the phrase and got about one hundred forty seven words of a story written.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, I was going through our business records for last year and mixed in amongst the hotel and food receipts, hastily scratched out on a hotel note pad, were those one hundred and forty seven words. Something about them just struck me, and I was able to see the rest of the story, complete in my head; all I had to do was write it down.

I started writing in October, but I hadn’t fully committed to it yet. I was afraid. Afraid of judgment, afraid I wasn’t good enough, afraid I would edit my work to death. Afraid of so many things, I ended up being afraid to try. November wasn’t much better as I failed NamoWriMo, but managed to get over four thousand words written. It’s more than I wrote in October, I tried to reassure myself. December dissolved into holiday frenzy and I decided to make a New Year’s resolution to write five hundred words a day, five days a week.

That, I felt I could do. As I picked up on the stories I had previously started, five hundred words didn’t seem too difficult. I was keeping up, and as I placed my word count into my tracker each day, I felt excited and proud, and soon I had written over five thousand words for the month!

My husband had been accepted into an anthology and he said I should write something for it. I started a new story, with this anthology’s theme in mind, and had close to eight hundred words completed on it, when I found the one hundred forty seven words from KillerCon.

Using those words, I wrote the story for the anthology in 2 days. It is approximately fourteen hundred words in length and was submitted, accepted, and published. Suddenly, I was an author.

Never give up on yourself, especially before you even try and don’t throw away any of your ideas, you’re going to need them someday.

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