Monday, September 15, 2014

Chain Reaction

By Rich

Life is strange. I know, this statement is so original and prolific that you want to print it on a poster or t-shirt. You can even combine it with another one of my original statements so it reads 'Stay Calm. Life is Strange." Hey, I'm always looking for that extra buck.

I digress. Life is strange because, no matter what you think your destined path may be, the universe has a way of twisting it in another direction. Sometimes causes a chain reaction that puts you at a disadvantage that you wouldn't wish on even Justin Bieber. Other times it fills an empty space in your life and propels you into many greater things.

Take me as an example. I decided to move to Northern Colorado back in 2010 in order to make a clean break with the East Coast and provide a better life for my family. In those first few months of settling down, I had no sense of what I wanted to do. Sure, I had my writing career, more like a after-work hobby, which I wanted to expand, but I didn't have a single clue as to how I wanted to move ahead.

Then Northern Colorado Writers came into my life through their annual conference, and the chain reaction ignited. You've read my story numerous times before or heard me tell it on a street corner while you rolled you eyes and dialed the police. For those who never heard the tale or wiped it from your memories, here's how it went down ...

The NCW conference led to an interview with one of their associated critique groups. The critique group led me to fine tune and finish Paradise Not Quite Lost as well as complete my first NaNoWriMo novel. The completion of PNQL gave me impetus to pitch it to an agent, who asked for the complete manuscript and sent me an encouraging rejection letter. This moved me to become more involved with NCW, which got me the job of administering the Facebook page.

The Facebook job got me closer to the many talented members of NCW, and that led to more responsibility in the group, eventually moving me into the Assistant Director position. This led to our presence on Twitter as well as a growing feeling of independence and strength that I could self-publish my own material. Hence, the creation of Wooden Pants Publishing, publication of Coffee Cup Tales, and signing of other authors who share my dream.

I have no idea when this chain reaction will halt. From my publication schedule and upcoming events, my feeling is it's going to continue for a bit, and I have NCW to thank for this. Without their spark I wouldn't have gotten to where I am today. And this is why, as we celebrate the 7th anniversary of the organization, I ask you to join in order to find your own spark and subsequent chain reaction.

How has NCW helped you?


Patricia Stoltey said...

NCW brought me together with a whole network of amazing writers who also turned out to be really nice people. Many thanks to Kerrie for making that happen, and many thanks to you, Rich, for working so hard to keep the dream alive.

Sarah Sullivan said...

That's a great story Rich! and I didn't even roll my eyes once. : ) I would love to read a blog about nanowrimo because I don't know much about it and have not heard anyone's first hand experience with it. Just a thought.

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