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.
How were you “discovered”? Please comment!
Posted in community, heroes, learning, writing | Tagged: contests, heroes, network, school, spelling, writerly | Leave a Comment »
Posted by contentgrrl on January 25, 2008
On FreelanceSwitch, I’ve found a new thrill of writerly blogs and advice on improving writing:
In particular, Content Crossroads: Supernatural Success at the Intersection of Ideas is an inspiring model of good writing, even if it is a bit long. The intro reminds me of an homage* in the movie O Brother Where Art Thou?, but the meat of the article is 5 ways to observe differently (learn for life, change perspective, free your mind, travel, and listen).
Another site I’m adding to my blogroll is FigaroSpeech, by Jay Heinrichs, author of Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion. I’ve bought the book, and I’m both captivated and compelled to try some of those rhetorical tools.
*OK, here‘s the homage to blues legend Robert Johnson from the movie:
Tommy Johnson: I had to be up at that there crossroads last midnight, to sell my soul to the devil.
Ulysses Everett McGill: Well, ain’t it a small world, spiritually speaking. Pete and Delmar just been baptized and saved. I guess I’m the only one that remains unaffiliated.
Ulysses Everett McGill: What’d the devil give you for your soul, Tommy?
Tommy Johnson: Well, he taught me to play this here guitar real good.
Delmar O’Donnell: Oh son, for that you sold your everlasting soul?
Tommy Johnson: Well, I wasn’t usin’ it.
Posted in learning, persuasion, publishing, writeroll | Tagged: arguing, blogging, blues, content, copy, crossroads, FigaroSpeech, freelance, Jay Heinrichs, O Brother Where Art Thou, persuasion, rhetoric, robert johnson, soul, writerly, writeroll | Leave a Comment »