It is a surreal moment when you walk past the magazine racks at Barnes & Noble and see your name on the front cover of a nationwide magazine. That moment happened to me this month. I found my writing and photographs between the covers of Artful Blogging, a magazine dedicated to featuring creative and inspiring blogs.
I wish I could say that I doggedly sent Artful Blogging submission after submission of articles about my blog until one was finally chosen, building up my tolerance for rejection in the process. But the truth is I never had the courage to submit anything, my creative life still too fragile to face even one rejection note. Artful Blogging found me, I don't know how, but I have a feeling that somehow my amazingly supportive community of online friends had something to do with being chosen.
Last September I was contacted by the editor of Artful Blogging regarding having my blog featured in their magazine. I had to read the email three times before I believed that it was true. Once convinced it was genuine, I quickly sent a response back saying that I would be honored to have my blog included in their publication. I was told I would be contacted by the end of September with the specific details. September came and went, and I heard nothing. I was disappointed, but rejection hurts a lot less when you don't initiate the piece to be rejected.
The rest of the year sped by, and I forgot about my potential brush with fame. In the meantime I was contacted by a brand-new online publication, Rural, a magazine dedicated to the simple life, no matter where you live. I was asked if I would consider being a contributor for them. Of course, I said yes. My 15 minutes of fame was back. I was told I would be contacted in early January with submission details.
Imagine my surprise one Tuesday afternoon in early January, when I opened my email and found not only a note from Jen, the editor of Rural, but also from Danielle, the editor of Artful Blogging. They both wanted me to submit for their next issues. Suddenly I had two articles to write in a three week time span.
I tackled Rural first, since that was due first. I had to write an essay piece of 150 words or less. Do you know how hard that is? VERY HARD! Thanks to my daughter's cut-throat editing, I did it. When I had the luxury of 650-800 words for the Artful Blogging piece I thought it would be a breeze, but I spent two weeks agonizing over those 720 words. It wasn't as easy as it sounded. Again, I couldn't have done it without my daughter's relentless editing.
I let Artful Blogging chose the photographs that they would feature in the magazine. How does a mother chose one child over another? Each photograph captures a moment of my life; a place I have been, something I learned, an everyday routine. When the magazine came out, I was most excited to see my photography printed. That was the moment it all became real, I had been published.
Some thoughts about the process:
- It is a lot easier for me to say that I am a photographer and writer now that I have been published
- I love my photography more than I realized
- The joy is in the journey not in the finished product
- It is hard writing something that won't come out for another five months
- I love my blog even more, and the ability to hit publish any time I want to
- I would never have developed the skills that I have without my blog
- The friends I have gained through my blog are priceless
- I need to print more of my work