We were on our way home from a wonderful evening at the Winnipeg International Writer’s Festival, something, come next September you’ll be hearing a lot more about from me as it is the highlight of my literary pursuits. That and the Manitoba book awards, which are in April…I think…anyway, I found myself lamenting to this lovely lady who is everything I want to be, that I just wasn’t where I expected I’d be at this point in my life. I was playing around with the idea of quitting my job and going back to school to get a degree in creative writing, theatre or something a little closer to my “true” passion. But for me, that would mean quitting a stable job and finding a part time undoubtedly crappy one, taking out a whack load of student loans on already shaky credit with no guarantee of finding employment after graduation which is becoming more of a problem for University and College graduates in this day and age.
Instead of giving me what I wanted, a warm fuzzy follow your dreams speech, she told me to stay where I was and pursue my passions from there. By all means follow my dreams but do it practically.
I’m doing just that. I have many goals and dreams to keep me occupied but there’s one that stands out for me and always has since as I long as I can remember that is, being a published author. Writing novels. Seeing my work, my name on a glossy cover on the shelves of McNally Robinson.
When I was working a part time split shift in a school age centre, I had a lot more time to pursue this. I’d been writing pretty much the same novel with many different variations for over ten years and I believed I finally was close to a decent finished product.
The first step I took was to go to the writer in residence at the Millennium Library, who said she enjoyed the first fourteen pages, which was all I was allowed to send. We had a lovely chat and she recommended I apply to the Sheldon Oberman mentorship program through the Manitoba Writer’s Guild. I knew nothing about Sheldon Oberman or the Manitoba Writer’s Guild but the premise was intriguing, an aspiring author works with an established author on their novel/poetry/short story. So I immediately joined the Manitoba Writer’s Guild (a prerequisite) and submitted the best parts of my novel.
A little over a month later I was accepted and so began a life-altering journey of self-discovery.
Now, I’ll be writing more on this journey with each post but I have so much more to share with you that I have to stop there now and leave you in a little bit of suspense