by Hope Dorman
Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to become an author. I read voraciously and wrote many uncompleted short stories, waiting for the “big idea” to come along which would propel me to being on par with my favorite, J.K. Rowling. As I got older I still had the dream of being a writer, but knew that it would most likely take a different form than being a novelist.
After I became an English major, I submitted creative writing to literary journals across the nation to no avail. I tried many rounds of that, and still nothing. I was beginning to get discouraged because I knew I was a good writer, but had nothing to show for it.
Over winter break, I looked into getting a second job because I knew I would have more time than last semester. After not finding anything on the student job board, I actually turned to Craigslist. I didn’t find anything that worked with my schedule on the normal list, but I looked to the writing section under “Gigs”. Most were unpaid, up-and-coming blogs or things of that sort, but luckily I found one that seemed promising. It called for contributors writing for a lifestyle blog aimed at women age 35 and up. I almost didn’t go for it as I am nowhere close to 35, but they had different topics that I knew I was qualified to write about, so I sent an email to the blog coordinator.
I presented myself as a junior English major, but claimed that “my knowledge about the different subjects is objective and applicable to all age groups” as an attempt to convince the blog coordinator that I would be worth considering. She emailed back very promptly and asked for a sample article. I was excited just to have a chance to prove myself and immediately started writing an article about running for beginners. To my surprise, she responded the next day and said I was welcome to join the team! I will now be contributing to the fitness section on www.reallyamazingwomen.com.
I am very lucky to have found a chance to be paid to do what I love on a website run by an established media group, and to have been considered with just the credentials of being an English major. I strongly urge anyone who struggles with finding a way in to their chosen field – especially writing – to simply search for what is out there, and sell yourself as capable and qualified. It can be a frustrating process, but it is worth the time and effort once you get recognized for your skill!