Back in the 1980s, during my days as a stay-at-home mom, I tried my hand at freelance writing. I sold a few articles and gathered a substantial collection of rejection slips. When I went back to teaching school, there wasn’t enough time in my busy schedule for writing but I found that sharing my love for the written word with my students gave me the same sense of fulfillment.
I always knew that I would return to writing when I retired. Originally, I visualized myself once again sending out manuscripts and query letters by mail and waiting with bated breath for editors to respond. Then came blogging! Though there’s a certain thrill involved in receiving a cheque for a published article, for me, writing was never about the money. I simply love to write and I love the interactive aspect of blogging. Knowing that people around the world are reading my posts, receiving comments from some of them and even developing long distance friendships with a few readers gives me great satisfaction.
Once I became an established blogger, I didn’t foresee myself seeking publication elsewhere again. While we were in China, however, it crossed my mind that I ought to consider writing an article about our experience for news and views, the quarterly magazine of the Alberta Retired Teachers’ Association, where I had first seen the ad that led to us being there. When we returned to Canada, I emailed the editor to ask if he’d be interested. He responded the very next day saying that he’d be delighted to run my article (with photos) in the Spring 2014 issue!
“We tend to get 600 to 800 words to the page with our new format, but fewer than that with pictures. So, if you could keep the text of the article to 1200 words or so, with the photographs, it would give us about three pages.” he went on to say. That was the tricky part! Condensing almost five months in China into 1200 words was definitely a challenge but I did my best to give the readers a taste of what we experienced living and teaching there.
Today, when we arrived home from Calgary, we found several copies of the magazine and a cheque stuffed into our overcrowded mailbox! Though the publication is a small one, I am nevertheless, a published writer once more. The question now is, will this whet my appetite to try my hand at writing for publication again or will blogging continue to satisfy?
One thing is certain. Regardless of what I decide, Following Augustine isn’t going anywhere. I intend to keep it going indefinitely.