I still can't believe how blessed I am to have the opportunities that I have. As some of you may have seen and/or heard, Beyond The Trope, the podcast I co-host, is going to Denver Comic Con to record several episodes. We approached them about the opportunity (they had a sign-up page on their website, so I filled it out), but it goes to show one major fact about life: many times, opportunities have to be created.
Now, there are opportunities that "show up out of the blue," and it's important to pay attention to those circumstances so they can be taken advantage of. This opportunity, however, would NOT have happened if I didn't take an active approach. At first, I didn't even think it would be worth the effort, either. I thought to myself (when I found out that DCC had the sign-up page), "There's no way they'll accept our application. We're too new, and it's Comic Con. They're going to pick the big, well-known podcasts who have a sizable following. And even if they DO pick us, they're not going to give us a table. Which means we won't be able to record on site."
Well, guess what? Not only did they accept our application (which you already knew because I told you in the first paragraph), they ALSO gave us a table. That's why we'll be able to record and interview people on site. And I can't stop jumping with excitement. Inwardly. Because my legs are tired and I'm writing this on my lunch break. But still jumping!
The same goes for other factors in our lives. I never honestly thought my wife would even CONSIDER starting a relationship with me. And I almost didn't ask her. But we've been together for seven years, married for six and a half.
As a writer, I have to approach agents with my manuscript. Sure, sometimes an agent will still approach a writer based on something that agent read in a periodical, but even if I published a dozen short stories a year, I don't expect that opportunity to come out of thin air. If I did, I would remain a short story author for the rest of my life (or a lot longer, at least), which would make it VERY difficult to become a full-time writer.
By querying agents, I'm creating opportunities. By going to conferences, I'm creating opportunities. No, I can't afford to create as many opportunities as I'd like, and I could spend my time griping about how it's unfair that people with lots of money and/or time can go to six or eight events a year that bring them face to face with editors and agents, but by complaining, I do nothing to advance my career. I just get whiney.
Chances are, the only way I'll be able to go to any events outside of this state (and more than one a year, for that matter) is if some of my debt goes away. But if I wait for that to happen, I'll be forty, bitter, and still working the same day-job that, while fulfilling in its own way and GREAT at paying the bills, isn't something I'm passionate about.
So I create opportunities. Not as often or as well as I'd like, but I'm still not giving up.