Ever since I was a little girl I have always dreamed of becoming a writer someday. While my sister and cousins were outside playing at my grandparents’ house, I was busy stapling paper together and writing my own stories. But I would always inevitably trash my stories because I just knew they had to be complete garbage. I carried words around that always sounded so perfect in my mind. Once I put pen to paper, however, I would condemn my words and ball up the monstrosity and curse myself, even at ten, for writing something so very stupid.
I would dream of publishing a book by the age of 12. I would be on the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America” because I wrote a book that, in my mind, probably rivaled “Harry Potter,” and Joan Lunden would say, “And look, she’s only 12!” But I continued to destroy every attempt at writing anything. And let’s be honest, it was more along the lines of “Sweet Valley High” or “The Babysitters Club.”
By the time I was in high school I was selected as the Op/Ed editor for my school newspaper. I begged my journalism teacher for my own column. She acquiesced and from there “Iridescent Hues” was born. I’m not really sure where the name came from. I didn’t even know what “iridescent” meant, but I thought it sounded cool. Once I found the definition, I thought, “Exactly what I was going for!”
I loved writing my column. I took on many topics, including teen pregnancy, abortion, drugs, body piercing (which seemed relatively new in 1994). My senior year I wrote a letter to the editor of my local newspaper which was published and got me into a lot of trouble at school. But that’s another story entirely.
After high school, I dove head first into court reporting school. I was immersed with learning my craft, the skill that would eventually pay my bills. I was also working part time after school in a grocery store. The only thing I was writing back then were love letters.
Life went on, but I continued to dream of one day becoming a writer. I expressed my dream a few times and was shut down by people who probably meant well who said, “Writers write every day. You don’t.”
Touche. And I took that to heart. I didn’t write every day. I couldn’t write every day. So I didn’t. For a long time. Oh, yes, I can write a great email. If you ever want to write a scathing letter to someone who pissed you off, I’m your girl. And for this girl who lives inside her head and has a hard time expressing herself when talking to someone, writing is the ultimate outlet. I may not know how to tell you how I feel to your face, but I will tell you later with my written words.
This very blog was born two and a half years ago as a way for me to feed my love for writing. I have neglected it. I haven’t consistently written. I have started and scrapped far more posts than I have published. I have actually considered taking the blog down and starting over. I restrained myself. I write for myself. Taking it down would invalidate my thoughts at the time I wrote them.
You may be wondering why I’m writing about writing. Well, last night I received my very first rejection letter as a writer.
A few weeks ago I was told by a friend about an ad in my newspaper asking for readers to submit two personal essays for a chance to become a reader columnist for the paper. I have wanted to try out for this for a couple of years, so I felt lucky to have the chance. I wrote two 500-word pieces, grounded in personal observation and experience as requested. I sat on submitting them for two weeks after I wrote them. I changed things up and read and re-read them constantly, trying to read them as if I weren’t the author. My inside voice was telling me how much they stunk, but I know that she is always out to get me so I ignored her. Plus I didn’t have time to write anything else. I clicked send on the email and immediately bit my lip in worry. I have now put myself out there. Someone is actually going to read this garbage. What did I do?
I received a response the next day letting me know that they had received my submission, they would read them and get back to me within a couple weeks. I was forewarned that the competition is very stiff and even very good writers are not chosen. And then I worried some more. He said he was going to read them. Oh my god.
It wasn’t even three days later that I received another response from him telling me how much I suck. No, I’m kidding. He was very diplomatic. But I read straight through all of that diplomacy.
Kellie,I’m afraid this is one of those dreaded rejection notes. We appreciated your interest in being one of our guest columnists; unfortunately, we have to make choices, and this sometimes involves passing up lively writers like you.I’m sorry.