"Don't try to start with the larger publications in your efforts to be published," said the accomplished writer. "Start with the smaller ones so as to develop credibility. I was in the beginners section of my first writer's conference and said a silent "Ouch!" to her comments. I had only submitted one article and that was one of the largest!
The next class dealt with the fourteen marks of a novice. I had violated almost all of them in submitting this story. Several weeks had passed with no response and now I knew why!
During the lunch break, I found a note from my wife. The features editor of the large magazine had called personally to announce that my article had been accepted! They were even going to pay for it!
I was ecstatic! What timing! The teacher's advice was not for me; I was soon to be a published-professional writer. WOW!
Back in the meeting, I showed the note to the conference director. He announced the news publicly which resulted in me being a bit of a celebrity. I was thankful and a bit proud.
In my mind, I could see the story, a feature article, with pictures and my name in print. All 3,900,000 readers would know of me and of course be impressed. I was thankful and yes, a bit proud too.
At home that night a bit of reality entered my star struck head. The magazine was not really the biggie but a new offshoot publication. The editors had shrunk the story from almost 1000 words to about 250 and had renamed it!
My bubble burst further when my wife told me, "It would not exactly be a feature article, but would be one of several on one page." My ego was flattened.
The page heading where my shrunk and renamed article would appear was to be, "Earning your wings." Slowly I began to see the ebb and flow of the day's emotions. I had done everything wrong in submitting the poorly edited story and yet it had been accepted even if by an auxiliary publication. I would go back for the last day of the writer's conference eager to learn because I truly was in the process of "Earning my wings!"
Named Writer of the Year in 2005, Ted Weaver is also an accomplished public speaker, educator and auctioneer. Mr. Weaver held positions as the Manager of the Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Pro-Tem in Sweetwater, Texas. Contact Ted Weaver at TedWeaver@juno.com  or by phone at 719-964-5268.