Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

{Sorta} Professional

Were it not for the pesky inclusion of the tiny word {main} in the definition below, this week I could consider myself a professional writer.

Also, were it not for the pesky inclusion of the tiny word {main} in the definition above, I could at various times in my life considered myself a professional:

  • Graphic designer
  • Accompanist
  • Choreographer
In reality, I realize I'm just a lucky amateur.  But I'm feeling pretty big-headed and proud this week to have gotten paid - for the first time ever - to write.

This is a big deal for me because once upon a time, I wanted to be a writer.

Once upon a time before that, I wanted to be a teacher.  But my mom didn't want her daughters to be teachers (go figure), so I picked a different dream, and it was to be a writer.

My parents liked this dream.  They liked it so much that they packed up their 14-year-old daughter and put her on a Greyhound Bus and sent her - all alone - to journalism camp in Des Moines, Iowa.  I liked it so much that despite being incredibly alone and terrified as simultaneously the youngest kid at camp and the only Mormon in attendance, I paid attention, and practiced writing, and had a grand experience.

In fact, every time I write a blog in which I begin in the middle of the story, I think of two things:
  • The Emperor's New Groove wherein the opening shot is of a llama in the rain and
  • Journalism camp in Iowa where I was taught to always start at the most interesting part of the story
And every time I think of journalism camp I think of three things:
  • Asking the other kids why they smoked, did drugs, and had sex and receiving the answer, "Because we're bored," 
  • QOSE, an acronym that stood for something totally inappropriate made up by this really cool kid named Seth, the clear social leader in the group and
  • The last day of camp when Seth pulled me aside and thanked me for being willing to stick up for my beliefs.  He said I had really impressed him.  And I probably learned more from that than from any other experience at the whole camp.
And since I'm busy making lists, whenever I think of Greyhound busses I think of the power of the priesthood:
  • My parents walked me into the station, and as we looked around, I think we all got a little scared.  My dad took me back out to the car to give me a father's blessing.  When we walked back into the station, a kind looking older woman approached us and asked if I was traveling to Des Moines.  It turned out she was headed there, too, and she offered to let me travel with her.
  • Somehow, my bus went to a different station than where the University had planned to pick me up.  I had some cash with me, but not enough for the cab fare from Point A to Point B.  Thankfully, someone else needed to go the same direction and split the fare.
  • My bus broke down on the way home, and I arrived many hours later than expected.  Because this experience was about 5 years before cell phones became popular, my parents had no way to contact me.  Because of the power of the priesthood, I felt protected the whole way home.
But I've digressed.

I don't remember why my dream changed, or even the direct progression of what it changed to.  I just know I didn't become a journalist.  And I didn't become a writer, except to jot down my life experiences for posterity and the enjoyment of my friends who, for whatever reason, seem to like this blog.

And then, almost two years ago, I found the Utah Theatre Bloggers Association.  They let me write for them in exchange for tickets to the shows I review.  I've had a great time and seen some great theater, but it didn't exactly seem like a dream realized.  

Until today.  Today I got paid to conduct an interview, write it up, and have it published on the UTBA site.  Today I am a professional writer.  {at least for a day}

View my article here: