Take the First Step

14311444_1050223608424117_3014868071978910328_oTwo weekends ago, I was honored to be a presenter and panelist at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference. If you are new to writing, or unfamiliar with the conference arm of this organization, I would highly encourage you learn more, consider attending, or even offer up your time as a volunteer. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet other writers, learn craft, and pitch your books to a variety of agents and editors.

I first learned of RMFW in 2005. I had just relocated back to Colorado with my husband, our two babies, Beth and Matthew, and a few dozen pages of a novel I had started writing while pregnant with Beth. Back then, I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for, but I remember the Internet search in Excite (the old Google for those that either don’t know or remember):

Colorado Writing Clubs.

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers was one of the first results to pop up.

I didn’t know what this organization was, but I scoured every word on that old site and discovered they hosted writer critique groups and that there was one in my area, the North side of Denver. They met at the now closed Borders Bookstore on 104th avenue.

I was terrified, but I reached out anyway. Certain that I would be told no, I wasn’t welcome, good enough, or experienced enough to join their ranks. But that didn’t happen. For a small yearly fee, I joined RMFW and was accepted into my first ever critique group. I had been an avid reader my whole life, absorbing and learning story without ever knowing it. But it was that day, the day I took that first step toward RMFW that my formal education in writing and publishing began.

csdp0hcuiaaianbWriting can be a solitary and lonely business. Most writers I know, myself included, prefer those hours alone in our heads with story. But because we are not entirely nonhuman, we also need to connect with others of our kind. Since that day in 2005, I have slowly built up a truly fantastic network of fellow writers who I am proud to also call friends. Most of those connections started and continue to flourish because of RMFW.

I was a presenter and panelist at this years conference, but I clearly remember eleven years ago being an outsider looking in. Take that step, connect with other writers. I can practically guarantee you won’t be sorry you did.

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Rebecca Taylor is the author of:
ASCENDANT (winner of the 2014 Colorado Book Award)
MIDHEAVEN
THE EXQUISITE AND IMMACULATE GRACE OF CARMEN ESPINOZA.

Her newest title, AFFECTIVE NEEDS, is now available.

She lives in Colorado with her husband and two children. In addition to writing, she works as a faculty mentor at Regis University’s Mile High MFA program.

Learn more about her and her work at www.rebeccataylorbooks.com

5 thoughts on “Take the First Step

  1. Amen, Rebecca! My story is similar, just some years earlier. RMFW was my first writing organization to research, and they mailed the most professional brochures and information. (Yes, this was back when hard-copy printed material was snail-mailed.) It was ever so much the right choice! Love RMFW!!

  2. From everything I’ve seen, the RMFW seems to be the best writing community on the planet. I’m all the way out here in Omaha, so not a member, but we do have a pretty decent writers’ guild here in Nebraska. It’s great for writers of all experience levels to join local or regional writing groups and take advantages of the opportunities they present.

    • Hi Jason! Yes, you are so right. Even if it’s not RMFW, I really encourage writers to look and find places to connect…even if they can only be online. You sound like you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by a great group.

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