One of the best parts of writing is the people you meet while you’re doing it. If someone asks me how long I’ve been writing, I’ll qualify my answer by saying that, as a full time profession, it’s only been two years.
I’ve been writing since I was nine or so — not well, of course, but I was a generative artist. My first book, Melinda Morgan, concerned a young Texan named Melinda who plotted alongside her sister to secure a horse who later turned out to be a Pegasus. “She had many exciting adventures with him.” Sadly, things didn’t end very well for Melinda.
There were countless stories after that. There were characters inspired by my friends and my favorite band, ABBA, mystery, romance, comedy, and a plagiarization of Julie of the Wolves re-illustrated with found objects.
In High School, tired of passing notes the old fashioned way, Besty Friend and I would write each other fairy tales about our crushes and people we hated and what had happened during Trig. I still have half of them though I sent half back to her when she was dealing with a nasty divorce. The collection is sort of like our own friendship necklace, but better.
It was around that time that I joined the newspaper staff as a news editor. I ran a section with my good friend Lana and we even won some sort of award for layout in our senior year. When I graduated and learned that college editors and writers actually got paid, I thought I’d gone to heaven. Starting as a staff writer, I progressed to editor my freshman year marveling at the spare thirty bucks I now had to spend on coffee (yeah, that’s what I spent it on). I wrote for the PR office, as well. I wrote for the lit mag. I wrote for the liberal newspaper. I wrote for the conservative newspaper. I wrote for anyone who would take me.
But back to the paper. I brought it up because I had the pleasure of reconnecting with one of the Editors-in-Chief of the old Collage. It took us a minute to knock the rust off the memories of 1996, but she’s still an editor — *my editor* — and I still can’t wait to work for her.
It’s one of those universal truths in life that goodness, even if it takes its time, comes back around to you. If you’re kind and nurturing and creative and inspirational, it’s easy to have people who want to be in your corner. I’m not an editor yet, just a reader and a critiquer and a writer, but I’m watching because someday I will be an editor and I want to learn all I can from the “goods.”
It’s rare to run into the “bads,” though they’re out there. And then there are the goods. Editors you would walk over the sun for — editors who care about your work as carefully as they would their own. Editors who you sub to over an over again or beg to work for just so that you can have avail yourself to more of their time. Editors who remember you even after so many long years. Editors who promote your pieces. Editors who believe in you.
I have more than my share of those in my life and I count myself ridiculously fortunate.