Last week I tore off a quick post about $2 bills and strip clubs. The article that I referenced had come out three weeks earlier and Iâ€™d been meaning to blog about it, but kept putting it off. (I have a backlog of blog topics, many of them moldy news items.)
The reason I didnâ€™t blog about the article was because I didnâ€™t have a compelling story to go with it. Sure, itâ€™s cool that strip clubs are impacting the economy in such a newsworthy way, but that wasnâ€™t enough. I kept rereading the article until inspiration struck and I wrote my speculative little post. I look for the connecting points in a lot of things and this one I wrote about.
Good thing I think the way I do.
My post attracted the attention of $pread Magazineâ€™s editor, Audcia Ray, and she contacted me to do a short news item for them along the lines of my post. She contacted me on Tuesday and wanted the 500-1000 word piece by the weekend. I gave myself a deadline of Friday afternoon and set to work. She helped (a lot) by editing the content of my post and by asking specific questions that needed answered.
I worked the piece over until Iâ€™d achieved a reasonable journalistic tone and had narrowed down the specific information I needed to fill in my gaps. The Internet helped, as always. I called Burch Management to ask my questions. The rep who took my call was extremely helpful and provided the background I needed. I finished the article and submitted the final draft Thursday afternoon. It was approved and will run in the upcoming issue, due out in January. (Itâ€™s 650-700 words.)
How I wrote the article is nothing new. Any freelance writer can tell the same tale, and probably with more drama. The process of turning a conversational blog piece into a journalistic news item was a new process to me and I feel I learned a few new things. (Whether the lessons stick is another matter.) Thatâ€™s only of interest if you like writing.
The reason Iâ€™m reporting this, other than self-congratulations, is because this would not have happened without the Internet. More specifically, it would not have happened without the benefit of RSS feeds.
I donâ€™t believe Ms. Ray subscribes to my blog directly. But she uses feedreaders that search and filter feeds by her keywords (terms relating to sex and the adult industry). This makes it easy for her to find items of interest, like my blog post. Who knows how many writers/articles sheâ€™s found this way?
Itâ€™s one thing to read about all this stuff (like in my daily SEO blog reading), itâ€™s another thing to see it in action and actually be affected by it. You know, the whole â€œI never believed it could happen to meâ€¦â€ sort of thing. Iâ€™m sure this happens to professional writers all the time. I know bloggers have gotten book deals from their blogs. Iâ€™m just amazed for myself. Of all the things Iâ€™ve expected from this blog, this didnâ€™t enter the equation. Not that Iâ€™m complaining!
This is the first time Iâ€™ve been officially published in a print publication. (One time something I said in an anonymous sex survey was printed in Glamour magazine, but Iâ€™m not claiming that credit. Another time a short essay and some poems were printed in my collegeâ€™s version of a literary magazine.) Iâ€™m very proud. Itâ€™s nice to have confirmation that my speculations werenâ€™t all in my imagination.
This is a nice moment.