I recently became the new music columnist for Arizona State University’s State Press Magazine. Last week, I submitted my first two pitches to somewhat little personal fanfare. This is not to imply any lack of thrill, but more so to emphasize a smidge of trepidation on my part. See, I’ve written journals before; absent-mindedly jotted down ideas on paper that no one has laid eyes on. Until last week I had not offered my writing, personal opinion pieces anyways, to anyone. My words have now become public by means of the State Press Magazine and, in a roundabout way, shared through social media.
This minuscule blip on the map, my seemingly paltry attempt, managed to frazzle my nerves. I almost couldn’t believe it. My first official column was set as an introduction, to be used as a vehicle to share what I think about music. In my mind, I was doing cartwheels compiling thoughts I wanted to touch on. “Finally! I get to start writing for an audience!” Then I sat down and really started to assemble my ideas of what music means to me. Huh? Whoa. Timeout. How am I supposed to disclose my inner feelings on a topic that is not only broad, but near and dear to my heart, while serving it justice?
This is when that whole feeling of trepidation began.
Even still, I wanted to introduce myself to my new (and, optimistically, viable) audience and fully delve into the subject. I wrote, and I wrote and I re-wrote. The words seemed to pass from my fingers to my laptop with ease. But, as any writer knows, your first draft is not your final draft; I made minor tweaks, additions and modified verbiage. A couple of drafts in, I hit submit.
On October 1, my editor posted my first official column. I opened the link, and there it was in all its amateur glory.
I made the cognizant decision to link my column on my Facebook page, for my 400+ friends to see. I didn’t know what to expect. But here’s the thing…I threw fear out the window. Fear is only as deep as the mind allows. This minuscule blip on the map, my seemingly paltry attempt, is so much more. It is the outset of something amazing. This new gig of mine will send me down a path, for better or worse, and spawn a litany of opportunities, failures and promise. Whatever it entails, it’s my path to travel. I’m only beginning to scratch the surface, and to consider my column a pivoting point doesn’t quite compensate enough.