1,000 Words A Day...

…To Create A Writing Empire

Category: Publishing (Page 2 of 2)

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Bad Writing vs. Good Writing


As you will recall, I told you about my psychotic episodes trying to write an article for Iron Horse magazine. I also told you that at one point the writing wasn’t going well. I knew it, so did the editor and he let me know it. It was because I was playing head games with myself. When I finally said, “Fuck the Fear“, I focused and totally immersed myself in the task. I sent it in and this was my editor’s response:

From: “Geoffrey Kula”
To: “Werner Meyer” chopper_writer@yahoo.com
Subject: like comparing apples to oranges…Werner —

WHAT the FUCK happened?!?!

This story is about 1,000 times better than the first version you handed in! VERRRRY good reporting, I must say! Kudos to you!

I haven’t actually tackled editing it yet, but gave it a thorough read-through and did some polishing up on your grammar, etc. Everything looks pretty good. Can’t wait to see the images we have to choose from. Might have some questions for you to answer over the next few days, but that’s par for the course as I pick apart each story, so fret not.

If I make it past our Apr. 15 ship date, we are def. going out for drinks!

congratulations again,
Geoffrey Kula,
Editor In ChiefI
ron Horse Magazine

As you can imagine that first line scared the shit out of me, but the rest of it made me so happy that I barely slept last night. I am working with Geoff, to be sure that we make the June issue – and he can buy me those drinks!

I hope I get to do this again. You get to make new acquaintances and learn many new things. Once I got past the fear of doing the interviews (three of them), I really started to enjoy it. It’s fun asking directed questions and getting people talking about their passions.

I hope that by June, I will be able to let you know that the magazine with my article is on the newsstands. I think I’m more excited that I am finally going to be a published writer with my first clip, than I am about being paid for it…NAH! That’s just screwy!

Chopper Works article (WIP-2)

Well my article about Chopper Works for Iron Horse magazine is in its final edits. Being this is my first attempt at writing an article for publication, and knowing that it will be published, has been a real head game for me. I always wanted to try writing for publication, but I never realized how tough it would be.

One of the hurdles is just trying to write an article that is both interesting and formatted properly. The biggest hurdle though, is the psycho soap opera that takes place inside my head. I’m stunned by all the irrational fears that crop up. I have to really fight to overcome them. I know the fears are irrational, but somehow I still let them influence my life.

I wanted to back out this assignment when I had to do my first interview, I wanted to quit when the senior editor kept hounding me to see the article – which I knew wasn’t going well. I really wanted to quit when the editor read my first draft and tore it apart. I wanted to quit when I had to do follow up interviews to fill in gaps and dig up new info.

You know what – these fears are just plain dumb (but I still have them). The interviews went really well. The two brothers that run the business are very open, welcoming and friendly. The senior editor for the magazine has 15 years of experience and has interviewed over 1,000 celebrities and notables. He can be harsh, but he has taken me under his wing and is giving me a HUGE chance – considering I had no writing clips or examples to give him when I started. He is taking this newbie to article writing, and working with me as closely as I will let him, and is guiding me and showing me what I need to do.

The fear of my responsibility to the article and to the editor still makes me want to run away from it all – to return to my quite complacency – but I promised I would not let him down. I did this because I hate when promises are broken, and I REALLY hate to break a promise I make to someone. This fear/hatred of disappointing someone I made a promise to be more powerful than the fear I have of being responsible for the article. So, I push through the fear.

I can’t blame this editor if he never has me write another article for him again. However, if he does, I will be timelier and do a better job with the first draft. Moreover, with this experience under my belt, I’m sure the fears will have a duller edge the next time around.

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