Thursday, October 17, 2013

That one time I became a professional writer.

For as long as I can remember I have loved reading and writing.  I used to dream of writing a book.  A book that would fill shelves of local bookstores.  But there’s something incredibly personal about writing that has always made me a little apprehensive.  Sometimes even this blog discourages me.  What if someone doesn’t like it?  What if I make a grammar mistake?  It’s hard knowing that we can put our thoughts and feelings, sometimes our deepest ones, into writing only to have it passed by or scoffed at.  Much like asking that cute girl for her phone number or suggesting to that cute boy that you get together sometime, it’s putting yourself out there.  It’s risky.  It’s scary.  It’s thrilling. 

I remember in sixth grade everyone in my class had to write a short story.  I wrote a story about a ballerina named Jenny LaGare who had spent hours on end practicing and finally landed her dream role of the Sugarplum Fairy in her town’s local production of the Nutcracker.  As fate would have it, she fell and broke her leg in an ice skating accident and was unable to recover in time to live out her dream.  Her biggest enemy replaced her as the Sugarplum fairy.  During our individual project meetings my teacher, Mr. Youngstrom, told me that I had a knack for story and plot development.  At that young age and over such a silly and simple story, it stuck with me through the years. 

In college I studied Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations.  I was too scared to emphasize in Journalism or to write for the school newspaper out of fear that my writing would be rejected.  Writing assignments were always my favorite part of the curriculum in any other class. 

Now two years after graduation I feel like I've hit a rut.  Not that I ever have tons to write about or have done a lot of writing outside of this blog, but I can feel what small amount of skill I may have developed slowly slipping away.  

About a week ago a friend posted a job offer.  Her company was looking for a freelance writer to write a few blog posts each month for the online marketing company that she works for.  It sounded like the perfect opportunity.  I would be given topics to write about and it would be on the side of my full time job.  I could hone my writing skills in my fee time and in turn, build my writing portfolio.

I was asked to send two writing samples.  I found and edited an old press release from a school assignment and an old short story from this blog.  I got them all ready to go and attached to an email and could not hit the send button.  I knew I had to because I told my friend that I would apply for the job.  I waited one more day, read through them each with a fine tooth comb and finally hit send.  There it was.  My work, my thoughts, experiences and words.  Hanging in space waiting to be rejected or accepted. 

Then the offer came.

And I accepted.  
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