A few years ago, while on a committee at my parish, I gave a talk that detailed my spiritual journey. A friend found the talk intriguing and repeatedly pestered me to get it published. “Uh-huh,” I thought, “as if it’s that easy…” But when I spoke with my spiritual director he also encouraged me to seek publication. Eventually, I sent my story off, assuming nothing would come of it. Although I’d always thought of myself as a writer, I’d long before given up thoughts of writing professionally.
A couple of months passed and I heard nothing. Then one day I received an email from the editor asking for my social security number. He was in the midst of editing my piece, apologized for the delay in payment and said it would be on the way soon. I was shocked and delighted. I’d had no idea the story had been accepted.
Encouraged, I tried writing another essay. This one was about motherhood. I submitted it to one of my favorite magazines. To my amazement, the editor emailed me immediately, saying she loved it and would run it soon. “Shall I add you to our writers’ list?” she asked.
I gave an emphatic “yes.” Suddenly, I was a “real” writer.
From that point on, I treated myself as a real writer. I submitted articles and essays with growing confidence, used the credits I was accumulating to open other doors, and remained on the lookout for markets that would be compatible with my work.
Initially I took a chance, sharing a story that was extremely private. But the rewards have been worth it and I’m grateful now for that friend who pestered me until I acted. Is there anyone in your life who needs a little pestering?
Karen Edmisten is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in magazines such as Canticle, New Covenant, This Rock, and BabiesToday.com.