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Recently, I was conducting some “On the street” interviews for a magazine piece. I happened to walk into a newly established local coffee shop to ask people why they liked the town they resided in. After getting tasty snipets from the only couple inside, I then turned to the barista who gave me some kind words about her favorite town.
I thanked her and as I turned to leave I heard, “Excuse me. May I ask you a question?” “Sure.” “How did you become a writer for this magazine? I am very interested in writing and would love any tips.” Well, it was the first time someone outside of my writing pool ever asked me how I began. I was more than flattered she asked for my advice, and more than happy to share my little tidbits with this young lady.
I gave her the low down in brief, telling her how I started my affair with words as a young girl with my diary. I love music so I wrote songs, letters at my first desk job, offered to write newsletters for the companies I worked with, took some classes, produced cable t.v. and radio shows which included lots of writing. Early on most work was free, some was paid, always taken with the intent to improve, stir my readers to some kind of action or emotion and to add those precious line items on my resume.
I also told her to offer her services anywhere she thought would be handy, keep samples and get references in order to build her presence. She enthusiastically thanked me for my time, and we parted.
The lesson in this little story is never be afraid to introduce yourself to anyone.
Give them your elevator pitch…then be quiet and listen.
You never know if you’ll be writing for that person, or working for them in the future.