My mother has a saying that she repeated often when I was growing up. “When in doubt, take a step.” I’m reminded of this when I hesitate to try something new or challenging. On many occasions she might have stopped, frozen in fear, but she stepped forward through many challenges and built a family and teaching career that had a great impact on her community.
A few months ago I wanted to share the new Lake Alma Trail with our community but didn’t know where to begin. I’ve enjoyed reading the Urban Magazine based in Fort Smith because it carried some stories about local outdoor attractions. I hesitated to contact them, thinking they would not be interested in running a story by someone who was pretty much unpublished.
My mother’s words came to mind, so I took a step and sent an email to the managing editor. A couple of days later I received an email requesting examples of my writing. I laughed and wondered what to send. Finally, I sent a copy of a school newsletter and short book review I did for a principals’ journal. The next day I got an email asking if I would write a 500-word article.
Now, four months later, I’ve published my third article with the Urban Magazine. This has been challenging, fun, and a great learning experience. I have a new appreciation for publications as I read, knowing something of the work involved in their production. I also have a better understanding of the work our young writers are doing and am envious of the good instruction they’re receiving from our teachers. All of this would have been missed if I had not stepped through my doubt and acted.
My hope is that we build confidence into our students so that as they encounter barriers, they will “take a step” and move forward. One positive step leads to another along this exciting and sometimes challenging path of learning!
Read my articles on the web at the Urban Magazine aturbanmagazine.com or my blog ozarkmountainhiker.wordpress.com