The progression from hobby to passion to career


I got into writing early in my elementary education.  I can’t remember what sparked it.  I do remember my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Johnson, wrote ‘She shows promise in writing’ on my report card.  Since then, it became a hobby.  I didn’t take it too seriously until I was a senior in high school.  When I discovered I could major in it while in college, I was set.  It was a sign from God.  I was meant to write.

Literary Agents appealed to be during my freshman writing course.  I had been rooting around on some publishing websites to see if they would be interested in my manuscripts (I had finished a 200 pg novel by the time I was seventeen).  Every site told me that I would need an agent before they would look at my work.

Upon more research, I began to LOVE the idea of a literary agent.  They worked with authors, provided editing services, solicited their works to publishing houses, and recieved a commision based on the sales of that book.  Oh, it sounded so lovely!  I enjoy a one on one interaction with a person, especially in regards to business.  Heck, this was something I could do.

Experience.  I needed some before I could even think of becoming an agent.  I talked to my professor, and to others in my major.  It was then I discovered literary magazines.  Bemidji State University has four of them based right on campus!  I began with Rivers Meeting, an anthology that is pieced together completely by students.  Here, I gained experience in working on an editorial board.

I quickly realized how tough this was.  The pieces I wished to accept were often put on the chopping block, and eventually cut away from what the others deemed ‘good.’  What is wrong with me? I kept asking myself.  Am I just dense or something?

Of course, I was only a sophomore at this time.

My college career continued, and I fell into such classes as “British and World Drama” and “The Short Story Cycle.”  These classes helped me out SO MUCH!  Ever since I took critical analysis classes, my eye is growing sharper to better understanding literature, both on a historical and local basis.

I took these skills into my editing career as I continued with Rivers Meeting and as I started Dust and Fire and New Voices.  It turned out that editing was my calling after all.

A piece of me still wants to write the Next Great American Novel, or something of equal value.  Hah.  I continue with writing in my spare time, and within my workshop classes.  After my graduation, it is still my hope that I will find the time to write as passionately as I do now.

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