It takes a lot to do what I, and so many other talented citizens, do. It takes guts, creativity, sincerity, and total faith in yourself.
It isn't always easy to becoming a Times Writer.
If you don't have the bravery to submit an article to the Editor, well let me tell you right now, you're not going to go anywhere. Call me harsh and cruel, but it's the truth. You have to gather up the courage to click that 'Send' button on your email screen. Even if it's your first or last article, I understand that it can be scary. Nerves start to get the best of you, and the longer you sit and stare at your computer, the more you start to think, 'Man, this is awful! Why would I ever send this in?!'
I'll gladly be the first to say, you're dead wrong. I bet it's great, and even if it isn't New York Times Bestseller status, you'll get readers. And if you're seriously that doubtful of yourself, well then take some confidence classes and then show it to a friend. Just thinking, 'Hey, I got this.' can totally change the outcome of your future career on Whyville.
If you aren't the imaginative kind, don't worry about a thing. Maybe Creative Writing isn't going to be your forte (I know it isn't mine!), but there are HUNDREDS, yes, HUNDREDS, of other things to write about! Do a report on something related to Whyville. I will assure that every person who reads that, can understand it perfectly. It's a start! Then write about an upcoming holiday, and the various ways citizens celebrate it. Once again, people will get it. You'll soon start seeing that it gets easier as you go along to make things more creative. At first, the only thing I could write about was Halloween costume ideas, and different variations of Christmas. The first Creative Writing series I did? TOTAL. DISASTER. But I came back. If you fail, don't worry. That failure just got you one step closer to being the best you can be. (Plus, once you fail, you really want to redeem yourself! Haha.)
But it's not always fun and games, as many who read the People section know. You have to be able to get reader to understand. Even if you're writing about a topic that maybe NO one could go through, you have to get them to relate. Once you start having readers say, 'Hey, this guy has been through a lot. I don't know what it is, but it wasn't easy for him. I've had something like that happen.' you have succeeded in connection. Once you can write a piece and have your emotion connect to your audience, your writing will go out the roof. This can be incredibly difficult, or incredibly easy. If you can handle what you've been through, if you can get people to understand what you've seen in your life, this is a HUGE turning point. And one that you'll never want to forget.
I think if I asked 10 random Whyvillians if they felt they could take a leap of faith within themselves, I think 8 or 9 might say yes. Out of those eight or nine, I think about 5 would be lying to me. It's difficult, I'm not going to lie to you all. It is so hard trusting yourself enough to pour endless hours of work into your computer's hard drive, and for what? A week's publishing, if that? Maybe a virtual trophy? It's hard. I've questioned myself thousands of times, if I really wanted to go through with this entire Whyville Times writing. If I wanted to maintain my title as Times Writer. Writer's block, life, and tons of things got in my way. Just you wait, they'll get in yours too.
I sincerely hope, however, you say 'Whatever', and keep going forward. I fell back, a lot. I even resigned for a while. It's not something I'm proud of. I'm not glad that I questioned this safe haven, this little website that I figured would just be a time killer. It's become more. It's a place where I'll pour my heart out. That's true faith in yourself, and it's something all of us have deep down. Sometimes you just gotta blow some dust off of it, other times you have to spend years digging until you find it. It's not easy. This could be one of the hardest aspects of being what we are.
But it's the most rewarding.