Why I Write? Because I Can Spell
Posted by contentgrrl on April 12, 2011
I was discovered as a writer because I could spell.
Spelling is not difficult when you have:
- Great teachers early on fostering a love of etymology.
- Great books peppered with foreign languages and highfalutin’ vocabularies.
- A great father who gave me my first dictionary, set of encyclopedias, and book club membership. (Am I dating myself? It’s obviously before the Internet 🙂 .)
My writing had humble beginnings. In Texas, each school district sends students to district University Interscholastic League (UIL) meets, running the gamut of academics to arts to sports.
I was a geek: I won best actress in One Act Play, regional contests in Accounting and Typing, and several respectable ribbons in Ready Writing and Spelling.
Dr. Tom Buckner, director of the journalism department at McLennan Community College, had the dubious honor of judging such contests. Bless him, he always contacted the winners of a certain age for followup interviews, to recruit them to his department.
I got a scholarship, joined Dr. Buckner’s staff, became one of his editors on the Highland Herald, and went on with his guidance to win collegiate awards in headline writing, editorial writing, and investigative reporting. After I received a degree in journalism, he introduced me to an internship at a national trade magazine, Occupational Health & Safety, which hired me for my first full-time job as an associate editor.
I followed in Dr. Buckner’s footsteps a few times volunteering to judge UIL contests. I still keep in touch with some of the cartoonists, and other editors of the time. My contacts there have led to several gigs over the years.
For Dr. Buckner, I am very thankful. I have a career that I love.