Your hard work isn’t always going to get recognized.
Tough pill to swallow I know.
People aren’t going to give you a medal because you put the work in on your time.
Don’t do the extra work for people’s recognition, but for your own.
Now take that with a grain of salt. Because there are people who are going to recognize your hard work. They’re gonna take notice even when you don’t.
My First Sports Article
One of the first stories I pitched for the Pioneer in Spearfish was about football players that were selected to compete in All star games in. Literally the first story I’ve ever pitched, the sports editor was juiced about. He gave me the reigns to handle the interviews, writing, organization, photos, everything. This was back when I first started to realize writing was my passion.
I got my interviews done, picked out the head shots of the players, spent all night writing. Making sure everything flowed smoothly.
One of the best writing advice I’ve ever received was from my editor. He told me, “Write as if you’re trying to make a 2nd grader understand it.” Meaning, make it understandable to someone who has no prior knowledge about the subject. I think every writer should follow that guideline, because that’s how you reach different audiences. That and putting your voice into your writing.
But, after I got done writing the story at 5 a.m. I not only double checked, but triple checked for any type of errors. Checked to see if it didn’t flow, if it actually made sense. Let me tell you guys something, I never double checked any of my essays in school. I’m talking minimal effort in every paper I’ve ever wrote.
But I ended up calling it good at 6 and sent it into the editor. Now I don’t have kids, but I imagine that was like sending your kid off to school for the first time. You worry about the little shit, about whether he’s gonna get bullied or making friends. Or if he turns into the weird kid that spends all recess beating all the girls at tether ball. (1st grade was a great year for me)
Anyways, I’m sitting in his office the next day thinking I was going to get some type of recognition for my hard work. I kid you not we talked about my article for one 30 secs and he gave me my next assignment. Never spoke about it again till a few weeks later. “Oh yeah, your sports piece ran yesterday. Good job.” Didn’t pay it any mind because I was a sports intern, all I did was write sports pieces. I wrote 5 sports articles every week so him saying that went right over my head.
Later on that week I’m interviewing the head football coach for a different story. When he randomly says, “Hey, I’ve been keeping up with your articles in the paper. You’re doing a hell of a job.” Now a little background about me and the head coach. We’ve butt head more then I’d like to admit. With me being an out spoken maniac at practice that couldn’t stay eligible in the off season. There’s been multiple occasions when my head coach has had choiced words for me. But to hear him actually recognize my writing made my job that much more enjoyable.
Do your work in Silence!