A Personal View: Oh, those awkward moments. (true story)
October 11, 2014 Leave a comment
Ah, the life of a writer. Nothing is more rewarding then seeing a creative part of your soul in print and being able to say, “Why, yes, I did write that.”, but before you can utter those six little words, you must have something published.
Not an easy task but if you work at it, and take your writing seriously, an opportunity will present itself. Something, perhaps, along the lines of an opening on the local newspaper’s community editorial board.
You see the paper’s call for writers and think joining the board would be a good way to enhance your writing skills. You begin writing out, in longhand, the column that will win the paper over. The idea comes to mind immediately: an amusing story about a minor event in your life. It’s personal, it’s fresh and you feel it’s just what they’re looking for.
You transfer the story to a word program and begin the task of scrutinizing every paragraph, every word, until you feel you’ve achieved perfection. You send it off to your beta reader; the person who loves what you write and is willing to strain his or her personal or professional relationship with you to help you achieve your goals.
As you glance over your finished article, a feeling of pride sets in. This could be the start of something wonderful. You hit the SEND button on your e-mail, whispering a farewell prayer and hoping it reaches its destination safely, only to realize you’ve entered the email address wrong — and the darn thing bounces back to you.
E-mail address corrected, you once again send your work, safe in the knowledge that nothing can stop you now. Yet as you re-read the application form in the paper, you’re horrified to learn you haven’t included who you are and why you would like to be on the board.
There is nothing more humbling than looking unprofessional among professionals, and you breathe a sigh of relief when you learn, after a quick conversation with the editor, that you can send a second email with the omitted information.
A feeling of accomplishment washes over you when, days later, you open your e-mail and learn you have been chosen. The message from the paper acknowledges what you’ve been secretly hoping — that you can write — and now someone else thinks that, too. It gives you a burst of confidence that carries you through the embarrassment of forgetting to leave your telephone number on the editor’s voice mail when you call with a question about the scheduled introductory meeting.
You know that it can only get better from here.