Just another rambling fool at WordPress.com

Redo

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I never wanted to be a writer. As much as I’m a voracious reader, it’s not like I ever once thought I’d sit down and write my own stories or share my opinions in writing. Instead, my writing grew from an insufferable state of loneliness that grew so intolerable, I was willing to learn how to type and use a computer to communicate with others.

*

To say I’m verbose would be an understatement. Although I can quiet, even shy if I don’t know someone, give me an audience and a topic I know well, and I can hold my own. And then some. Back in the late 90’s I met a man who was instrumental in helping me get published. I wasn’t looking to write weight training articles, but I’d been an active member of an Internet weight lifting community for several months when this man tapped me as a reliable source for a couple of different venues. I was flabbergasted and flattered. I mean, handing out training advice online was one thing, but actually getting published on respectable sites and magazines was huge.

*

I didn’t think I had the goods, but that idea was quickly put to bed when I got a phone call from one of the parties interested in my work. For once in my life I was pretty speechless, but before I hung up he extracted a promise to think about his offer, after which I Immediately phoned my friend.

“What am I gonna write about? “

“I dunno, Zo. Just write about the kind of stuff you talk about all the time online.”

“Really? Really? Do you think that’s what he wants?”

“Yes. Just do it.”

*

My friend had had numerous weightlifting articles published in the proceeding months and years and while he’d made it sound easy, I knew it wasn’t. I sat down and stared at my computer, racking my brain for ideas. I felt blank. Finally, I just started writing. I wrote about how I found my way into weightlifting in the early ’80s and what a challenge that was for a woman to do back then. Once I got started things began to flow and before I knew it, I had written several pages. I re-read what I’d written several times, making a few changes here and there before I got the nerve to send it off to my friend for a critique. I waited several hours, giddy with anticipation. Finally the phone rang.

*

“Zo, that was horrible.”

Silence.

“You there?

Silence.

“Zo? You there?

Silence.

“Zo, don’t tell me that was your best effort because it wasn’t. I know you and you can do better. A lot better!”

Silence.

“Look, I’m not trying to offend you, but nobody cares about your personal experience with the Iron Game. Unless you’re famous or on T.V. nobody cares! That’s just the way it is! Write something that will educate your readers. Say something they can relate to, but don’t make it all about yourself!”

Silence.

*

I was shattered. I mean, I hadn’t gone looking to write an article for anyone. They’d approached me! Now that I’d finally caved and written something … something that I thought was pretty darn good … I was being told it was junk? The hell with them! They can find someone else to write articles for their damn magazine.

*

I stewed on that for a couple of days, getting madder and madder at myself and the whole situation. On the third day I sat down at my computer and wrote what turned out to be the best article I’d ever write. And no, it wasn’t about me. It got rave reviews and it’s become the bar I use to compare everything I’ve ever written, against. It was that good. Sometimes good advice may sting or sound harsh, but if you trust the source then it can be life-altering.

7 responses

  1. Great story, your friend knew your potential!!

    October 22, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    • Thanks! I think sometimes it’s hard to realize our own strengths. I’ll always be grateful that my friend not only encouraged me to write, but cared enough to chance my wrath when he shared his opinion about my first attempt!

      October 23, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      • Yes indeed!! I’d also would like to correct my typo from new to knew….oops!

        October 23, 2013 at 6:16 PM

  2. I had no idea you were a published writer but I have always enjoyed reading your posts! Thanks for sharing even more of yourself and a kick in the pants for me to submit my photo assignments that I have been dragging my feet on. Oh and your boy sure is cute! Lol

    October 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    • Yeah, I was pretty much dragged kicking and screaming into the whole writing process. The funny thing is that when you write for such a specific audience it’s not really such a big deal after all. I would urge you to submit your work. You take some really nice photos and you’re probably your own worst critic. Do it! You might be pleasantly surprised! 🙂

      October 23, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      • Thank you! I appreciate it! I have 2 of 3 picked out already. One more to complete. :0)

        October 23, 2013 at 4:48 PM

  3. Pingback: Daily Prompt – Harsh – Poem / Poetry – “The Survey” | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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