Seize the Opportunity!

Something writer, actor, arts advocate, literacy advocate Julie Andrews stresses, no matter who she’s talking to — aspiring writers, young people wanting to become involved in the arts, whoever — is that one must do one’s homework, be fully prepared, and be ready to recognize and seize opportunities when they come along.

I find it easy to look back and see opportunities missed, but I also find it amazing that when I start acting on the opportunities, having done the work to prepare myself, that other opportunities seem to fall into my lap. I seem to have come to a point in my life, in my writing life, when it’s full speed ahead.

And that’s what is behind today’s book-title musing.

The book title that provided me with my jumping-off place today, although I’ve veered completely away from the true meaning of the title, is Waiting for No One, the book by Beverley Brenna that I’ve blogged about a few times recently. (You can read more about the book here.)

Sometimes other things get in the way of our being able to seize the opportunities that flash past us. Those can be very valid things, raising children, working to keep the bills paid, caring for elderly parents. Sometimes we let other things get in our way that don’t need to do so. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we need to wait until the time is right — when I retire, when the kids are grown up, when I’m able to get that back room set up just the way I want it, then I’ll write.

Remember what Julie said about doing your homework and being prepared when those opportunities come along? Even in the midst of the “other things” of life, the kids and the parents and the job and the disorganized rooms, we need to remind ourselves as writers to wait for no one, to do what we can now, with the moments here and there that we can use for building our foundation. If we do that, then when the opportunities come we’ll be ready to grab them and run with them.

And those opportunities will come, believe me. They’ll come.


The opportunity that’s coming your way later today is the giveaway of one copy of Bev’s book, Waiting for No One. Anyone who comments on either of the three posts listed below before 11:30 a.m. Eastern time will have their name entered, and will assist me to select the winner. The recipient of the book will be announced at 12 noon Eastern time today, January 19th (the day Bev is accepting the Dolly Gray Award for her book.) Comment on one of these posts:

Waiting for No One Wins Dolly Gray Award

What’s Your Genre-Identity?

Words and Music are Powerful Things


Edited to add: I was so proud when Bev’s book came up in one of my google alerts (I have many google alerts for various kidlit related terms that come in daily.) Check out this article.

11 thoughts on “Seize the Opportunity!”

  1. Wow, this post really resonates with me. There are times when “life” seems to get in the way of writing, when kids or parents or sickness consumes all my time and energy, but you’re right: opportunities arise. And even when I feel too busy to spend time on my writing to-do’s, I’ve noticed–afterward–that the journaling I do during these periods informs my writing going forward. Thanks for a bit of inspiration! And I’m bummed I missed your giveaway, but will definitely check out Beverly’s book…

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. It is so good that you’ve found that your journaling keeps your writing going forward. I’m glad this post spoke to you! I’m also glad you’ll check out Bev’s book (note that there are two so far in this trilogy, the first is titled “Wild Orchid”.)

      I’ll be having a giveaway next week, as well, of Emma Walton Hamilton’s “Raising Bookworms” — stay tuned!

    1. Oh, that is such a good idea, and such an important point. Just thinking that way would help me get up when the alarm goes off, and get to work! Thank you.

  2. You had me at Julie Andrews… and yes, it’s the act of writing that makes us writers!
    And thanks for participating in the 2012 Comment Challenge!

    1. Thanks, Lee. Her name works magic, doesn’t it? She is such an inspiration to me, as is her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, with whom I administer a Facebook Group for writers as an offshoot of Emma’s Children’s Book Hub.

      The Comment Challenge is leading me to some great blogs. Thanks for hosting it along with MotherReader!

  3. I’m like a cat…biding my time and quietly waiting for my chance. Still working on the learning process!

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