by Darke Conteur
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!” Yet before you can utter those six little words, you must have something published. Not an easy task, but if you work at it, take your writing seriously, an opportunity will present itself, as it did for me along the line of an opening on the Community Editorial Board.
I saw the ad in the newspaper and thought this will be a good way to enhance my writing skills. I began that night and wrote, in longhand, the essay I was sure would win them over. The idea came to mind immediately: an amusing story of a minor event in my life. It was personal and fresh, just what they were looking for. I transferred it to my computer and began the task of scrutinizing every paragraph, every word, until I felt I’d achieved perfection. I sent it off to a beta reader—that person who loves what you write, and is willing to strain their personal or professional relationship with you to help you achieve your goals.
As I glanced over the polished article, a feeling of pride set in at the thought that this could be the start of something wonderful. I hit the ‘SEND’ button on my email, whispered a farewell prayer hoping it reached its destination safely—only to realize I typed the email address wrong and the damn thing bounced back to me!
Email address corrected, I once again sent out my work, safe in the knowledge that nothing could stop me now. Yet, as I re-read the ad in the paper, I was horrified to learn I forgot to include who I was and why I wanted to be on the board!
There is nothing more humbling than looking unprofessional among professionals, and I breathed a sigh of relief when I learned I could send a second email with the omitted information. A feeling of accomplishment washed over me when days later, I opened my email and learned I’d been chosen. It acknowledged what I was secretly hoping—that I could write, and now someone else thought that too. It gave me a burst of confidence that carried me through the embarrassment of forgetting to leave my telephone number on the Editor’s voice mail, when I called with a question about the scheduled meeting.
I knew it could only get better from there.