Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I am a writer

A few months ago I was contacted by Hadley, a straight woman who said she "loved" my blog. I'm guessing she searched Blogger for blogs in our small town and found mine.

Hadley said she was going to launch a website designed for 'Locals Only'. See, we live in a small seaside resort area that has a rather small year-round population (called 'locals'), but a large influx of out-of-state visitors during the summer months (called 'weekenders'). Being approximately 2 hours from Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Wilmington, there are a lot of people for whom our little seaside area provides a very attractive 'beach weekend'.
To encourage 'locals' to patronize the many restaurants during the non-summer months, many restaurants feature off-season specials. Hadley used to compile a list of the restaurants and their nightly specials, which used to get copied and passed around. Last fall she decided it would be better to put the list on a website/blog, and include reviews and comments from patrons. Thus, the 'Locals Only' blog was born. In an email she asked if I'd like to write for the blog.

Initially I was flattered that she liked my blog enough to invite me to participate, so I told her 'Sure'. We emailed back and forth a few times, trying to figure out when we were both available to talk on the phone. We both have busy schedules so it was harder than you'd think. The holidays came and went and since I didn't hear from her for a while, I wondered if perhaps I seemed too 'high maintenance' or something. You never know, right?

But today, out of the blue, with no prior coordination, I got a call from Hadley. She asked if I had a minute to talk and although I was working, I took a break to talk to her. I was glad she was still interested in me.

From our 10-15 minute chat I could tell we could become friends easily. I liked her right away. She loves to eat out, she loves to drink cocktails, she loves meeting friends for happy hour, and she loves men... all the things I love, too! And if that wasn't enough, she loves my blog, thinks I'm funny, and referred to me as a writer.

"I'm not a good writer at all. I just write like I talk" she said with a giggle. "But you're a great writer! You're funny, and your blog is always interesting. I just love it."

After all of that I probably would have agreed to almost anything she asked.
Hadley: "You're a great writer, now paint my house."
Mark: "OK. What color?"

She also explained that she wants the blog to be about more than just off-season restaurant specials and reviews, so we discussed some of the other types of content that would be appropriate. She was open to my ideas and was very easy to work with, so I agreed to become a contributor. A writer.

When our conversation was over I thought to myself "I am a writer. I AM a writer!"

I've always hesitated to call myself a writer because I don't have much formal training for it. I've written some training materials in a few previous jobs and I've been writing this blog for 5 years now, but its not like I've written a novel or anything like that. But I do have experience, if you consider a 5-year old blog to be experience.

And then I remembered that 2 1/2 years ago a small newspaper found my blog and requested to reprint an entry in the newspaper where I described a favorite restaurant. They actually published the blog entry, word for word, and listed me as the article's author. There was no mention in the newspaper of finding the article on my blog. No, they simply printed it and listed me as the author.

Yes, I am a writer.

So in the next few weeks I'll be putting together some short articles for publication on Hadley's 'Locals Only' blog. I'll provide you with the link when the 1st article is published, in case you want to check it out.

Crush du Jour: John Dore

19 comments:

jeffrey said...

congratulations, that's awesome!

robertga99 said...

Congrats, that is so cool!

TheGaudyGarden said...

I LOVE John Dore!!!!! His TV show is the best. AND, you ARE a VERY GOOD, CLEVER writer. I have loved your blog.
Jim

Michael Rivers said...

Congrats!! Very fun, Mr. Writer.

Sean said...

Congratulations! Now this will be in addition to your regular posting right? You're not going to ignore us in favor of a shinny new plaything are you?

behrmark said...

Hadley is one hundred percent correct: you ARE funny! And my friend you ARE a writer. I could have told you that! Way to go!!

Larry Ohio said...

Congratz Mark! That's wonderful!

Bob said...

You blog therefore you write.
Congrats1

Steve said...

You're becoming too fancy for me...

Java said...

Mark, you are a good writer. Please come clean my house. ;)

Congrats, honey. I'm proud of you.

wcs said...

Extremely cool! I hope you will provide us all with the appropriate links at the appropriate time!

bunny said...

Good for you! Congrats! Can't wait to see your work.

anne marie in philly said...

wicked!

and so is the crush...I could get lost in those eyes!

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

well done

who is john dore.....not someone we have in the UK (mores the pity)

CJ/Rick said...

Well good for you. Not that you aren't busy enough. Whew. You have a lot of energy. I bet you wear your better half out. ;)
Look forward to checking it out.

Stephen said...

Yes, you are a writer, & a damn fine writer too. unfortunatly, as a blogger this sometimes happens:
you have been tagged for a MEME.
http://nopoboho.blogspot.com/2010/01/it-is-all-about-meme.html

Jeff said...

Add me to the chorus! Congrats! :)

Joy said...

This is great! Way to go and congratulations!!

Kyle said...

Mark, I'm really happy that you have this opportunity to work on the local blog. I am even happier that you have allowed yourself to wear the mantle of writer.

You are more than just a writer, you are a natural storyteller. Writing isn't about training, prep, or refinement, it is about connecting with people through a story. In that department you are truly gifted. The collection of punctuation and words are important, but your voice and vision are more important.