Wednesday, August 11, 2010

27. Write a letter to an editor that makes it into the publication

This goal ranks up there with memorizing a poem.  This is another goal that I saw on someone else's list and thought it would be a good one.  It turned out to be a ton of work, and most of it never really mattered.

I gave up trying to write TIME magazine. Every week from August 2009 through May 2010 I read the magazine and submitted a letter to them about something that struck a chord with me.  Each week I would check the editorials to see if my submission was accepted.  It never was.  I would read the submissions that were used and use them as my guide for types of things to look for.  That didn't help.  The one thing that I can say is that I read a lot of great stories that I wouldn't have read if it wasn't for this goal.  I learned to critically write a response to someone else's writing. This skill came in handy when I was teaching critical thinking to my kids and how to read critically. I was also asked to submit writing related to articles that I had read during my classes I am taking.  Since I was in the habit of doing this weekly already it made it a pretty easy task. 

I decided if I didn't make it into TIME by the end of the school year I would give up on TIME (something suggested by many to do early in my attempts) and would look for something less lofty.  It surely would have been cool to make it into such a large publication, but I just had to adjust my sights. 

It only took one time to make it into The Beacon News (or The Be Confused as Mr. Eckburg used to refer to it as).  There were a few ideas I thought about writing about, but I just never got around to it.  After reading a few submissions in the editorials page I found that you don't have to write about an article in the paper at all.  It just needs to relate to something in the reading area. I decided to write a short letter about the roads in Aurora.  It was definitely not my best writing or the most important letter written to them, but it was something to appease the goal.

The letter can be found here. Don't expect much when you read it. My motivation was that Aurora is trying very hard to make the downtown area prettier. The street lights are being re-done into an older architecture style.  They are giving huge tax breaks to anyone willing to open up shop down there.  It just seemed that if they did a total restyling of the area including the streets it would possibly help to revitalize the area. It also seemed to me that if the roads are already surfaced with bricks, why not just work with what is already in place.

This goal is done.  I can say that I am probably done writing in to publications about their content.


Matt Weis said...

AWESOME JOB! Very well written letter, Eric... I'm pretty sucky at writing so I know something's good when I read it. You should write more for the Be-confused!

Mom said...

It is a very good letter, Eric. Congratulations!