Although I had never written for a magazine, the opportunity to do so came while speaking at the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York. After my keynote address on the importance of writing for children, a woman approached me when I got off stage. She said, ‘I think you should be writing for our magazine.’ Being a professional writer, which essentially means you’re often out of work more than you are in work, I immediately said, “sounds great?’ The That magazine was Boys Life Magazine.
She gave me her card and asked me to send her an email after the conference. I didn’t. I emailed her immediately from my phone. Before the night had ended, I was in contact with the managing editor of Boys Life, Paula Murphy. Like most freelance writing jobs, I was asked to submit some thumbnail story ideas.
A day later, I began writing 700 Feet of Terror. The story was targeting the battle young kids go through with regards to peer pressure. All too often, we make decisions in life based on what other people think of us…or what we think they think about us. We try to fit in and shape our behavior and personality to fit the warped culture we find ourselves in. This battle is one I choose to take on and help kids think up and not down about themselves.
After turning in my first draft, Paula called and asked me for an additional 400 words. At $2 per word, I quickly obliged her request. She said, ‘you really know how to think like a 13 year old.’ Six months later, I read my first magazine story. I am proud of the story and my work with inspiring young minds.