Well, it’s been an eventful weekend for sure.
I had made the conscious decision to stay home on Friday night to get some writing done – more so in the vein of content writing to get some money rolling in after spending more than I really wanted to on desks and supplies for the kids to go back to school. I was dismayed to find that the article writing website had no work available, however. I sat in front of Rosalyn and debated how to proceed. Blog post? I immediately scratched it. I didn’t have a whole lot to say at that particular moment in time.
I looked up at my daily planner, hanging on the entertainment stand door next to me and read the written reminder to check out Elephant Journal. I had glanced through the website briefly at work earlier in the week, but hadn’t had a chance to fully explore what the website was about. I logged on and read their posting guidelines, how the whole process worked – basically it seemed the website would provide me some exposure, but not any sort of income. I was totally okay with this – income is great, but I realize that I am ‘new’ to the writing world – as in, I have written for as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil, but not with the goal of being known. Exposure is good, and it is just as important, if not more important, than getting paid.
So I made an author bio, took the piece I had written for another website that had been denied, did some editing, and posted it to the Elephant Journal website. I had thought it was good, and thought honestly it had been denied simply because my opinion was prevalent in the piece, thus making it fairly controversial. There was an option to send it to the editors at Elephant Journal for consideration, and there was an option to just post it and see what happened with it. I opted for the latter – Sending it to the editors had a 7-10 day processing time, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for another rejection just yet. I really wanted to just see what would happen with it as it was. I didn’t even upload a picture with it. I just posted it and went on with my life.
Going on with my life included an awesome trip with Emma to Detroit on Saturday. In tow we had Matthew and Chase, Matt’s brother J, Chase’s brother and sister, and Matt’s girlfriend. We took them to see Jurassic Quest, a drive through dinosaur show at DTE. We then finished the trip with lunch at Rainforest Cafe. The entire trip was filled with laughter, and I greatly enjoyed the complete mixture of all of our households. We talked about doing it again in the future, discussing destinations as we drove home.
At home finally, I finished some laundry and helped Chase go through his bookshelf. I logged on to the website to do some content writing, but my brain was tired from the day. I was looking forward to the evening when I could sit down with my book and relax. I ordered pizza for dinner and did some weeding in the garden in the meantime, though.
And finally, it was time for me to curl up in my blankets with my book and find out what was going to happen in If it Bleeds.
I was highly engrossed in the story, when something made me glance up at my phone. It had apparently blown up with notifications in the past several minutes, and I reached out and picked it up to see what was going on.
It was nine o’clock at night and I had an email from an editor at Elephant Journal.
They wanted to publish my piece.
I hadn’t sent it to them. They found it, loved it, and wanted me to change my author name from my standard A. Elizardo to my actual full name so they could publish it.
I stared at the email in shock.
First off, it was nine o’clock at night on a Saturday. The editors must work non-stop! It began to sink in. . . They found it. I hadn’t asked them to even look at it.
I responded to the email, sent the screenshot to Emma and called Sophia, who didn’t answer. Posted to FB. Stared at the email some more, reread the post. . . Finally Sophia called so I could relate everything to her.
After the excitement of the day, and after the excitement of the recognition of my work, I was absoultely drained. I sat down to read a book to Chaser, one of my favorites – Psssst! It’s me. . . the Bogeyman. I had originally found the book at the library years ago, when Matt was little. We had checked the book out again and again because he loved it so much. I happened upon it on Amazon last year and bought it for Chase so he could enjoy the story, too. After I finished reading the book to him he curled up against me, claiming he wasn’t tired. As his breathing evened out though, I smiled because I knew he was falling asleep. Apparently it was then that my day caught up with me too, because I also fell asleep.
To not wake up until almost ten this morning.
It’s been a normalish Sunday – the usual house cleaning and week planning that encompasses the first day of my week. I also spent several hours in Chase’s room, rearranging and organizing and getting rid of things. At around eleven I got a return email from the editor, telling me she was going to work on editing and formatting my piece today. I expected to get an email letting me know if and when it was published, but never received a notification of a new email from her. At four o’clock I took a break to smoke only my second cigarette for the day – the quitting is going phenomenally, for the record – and checked my email.
Apparently the email didn’t get sent to my phones notifications, because there it was – Kinda a big deal: we’ve promoted your Instant contribution to our Magazine section.
My mouth dropped. I jumped up from my chair. “Holy shit!” I clicked the link to my revised piece. Scanned through it, noted the minor changes, loved it. . .
I sent the screenshots to Emma and Oliver and Sophia. I read the email again. It dawned on me. . .
I am motherfucking published.
You can read the post HERE. I discovered after the fact that there is a small chance I can get paid through this. . . if I get enough reads and shares. So I’d appreciate the link click a bunch.
So after allllll of this back story, I can relate what I’ve written to the quote for the day.
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King
So first, to get to write about a quote from one of my favorite authors – yay!
Everyone is good at something. Everyone excels at something. Its what you do with that something that you’re good at that matters.
I’ve been good at stringing words into a pleasing sentence structure for many, many years. And on May 29th I decided I was done just playing with words, and I really did want to get my words out there to people. I wanted to be known. I wanted people to read what I had to say. I wanted to make a difference in this world with what I had to say.
It is August 16th. I am getting paid to write. I am published.
Two and a half months of busting my ass and not getting enough rest and sleeping and eating and breathing this art of mine, and I’ve made considerable progress. And I have other obligations, I have distractions, I’m riding this goddamn roller coaster that is 2020. . . I can’t even give it my all. I have too many other things that demand my attention.
But I can give all that I have to give to it. In doing so, I’m making strides in the right direction – strides, not steps.
I don’t tiptoe. I never have. And I certainly don’t half ass anything.
I can be good at this art of mine all day long, every day. But being good has nothing to do with whether or not I work at it. If I didn’t work at it, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have in these past couple of months.
So, that’s what I’m gonna continue to do. I’m going to keep busting my ass to get to my dream. Because what good is it if I am talented, but I don’t share my talent?
Absolutely no good at all.
Happy Sunday. Don’t be afraid to work towards your dreams.