Well, as of last Tuesday, I am a columnist for the Cornbelt Running Club monthly newsletter!
I sent in my sample column at about 8:13 last Tuesday morning. When I checked my email later in the day, I saw that by 8:48 Tuesday morning, I was in. I was a little surprised, but then I thought that perhaps there were one of two possibilities. 1) I was so amazing as a writer that I simply blew them away I was so awesome and they just had to have me, or 2) I was the only one who sent in anything and am willing to write a column for the glory of writing a column every month (a.k.a., I don’t get paid).
While I would love to believe it was because I am such a good writer, I may just let that remain the fantasy while, in reality, door number two is probably the one I entered. But that’s okay. I’m not too worried about it. No matter how it got decided, I am now a columnist, and, for me, that’s what counts. I will be published monthly. Being “published” weekly here doesn’t really count, either. I suspect only a couple people may really read me here anyhow. But that’s okay, too. Because part of this is my weekly work; my practice; writing because I love to write and I have to write. Which also means I should probably take a little more time than I do to polish and edit. Some weeks I do. But others, not so much. Sorry about that.
It also makes me feel a little more like my inspiration, Wisconsin writer Michael Perry. He wears all kinds of different hats to write. And now I’ve got three. Sort of. I write 1,000 words every day in my “journal.” And I’ve been writing once a week for the blog. And now I’ll have a once a month column that people may actually read. Or some people, anyhow. I didn’t want to put my picture on the post so I sent a picture of my cat instead. Then I got the wacky idea that maybe, each month, I’ll have a different picture, none of them me. Just a thought. Keep it a little mysterious. Stay tuned.
This is another picture of one of the cats, a little grainy, and not the one that will be standing in as me in the April issue of the Cornbelt Running Club newsletter, but you get the idea.
I am also more seriously considering getting a camera and learning how to use it. One of my instructors from auction college with whom I stay up to date on Facebook, was talking last week about her new camera. So I am doing some research and trying to decide how much money I am willing to part with (with which I am willing to part?) to learn to be a photographer so I can add to the blog. Again, stay tuned.
But no matter what kind of writing I do, I have to say it’s starting to feel different. It’s like I’m writing for a purpose now: for a real audience. And that feels different and a little scary. It’s not just for me anymore. Now when I sit down, I start to think about what I’m going to write, but I have to be careful to remember that while it’s for me and it’s for an audience at the same time, I don’t want to make things different. I don’t want to lose the voice I have in my writing. I have friends who have read this blog and have read other pieces I’ve written and they tell me it sounds just like I’m talking to them. It sounds like me. That is the highest complement I think I could ever get, at least writing what I’m writing now.
So, for the next month or so until school gets out, I’ll keep clacking away every day. And I’ll keep posting here on Tuesdays, letting you know what’s going on. As I do so, I hope to work myself closer to being the real writer that I want to be.