You can’t be a journalist if you’re not willing to rap on a stranger’s front door.
Yes, it’s true. Well, at least not a successful one.
Ask Jeff Pearlman — a renowned sports reporter who visited Ohio University this spring to talk about his writing experiences. During my time here at OU, I’ve learned to deal with rejection. Everyone has a story, but not everyone feels comfortable sharing it — at least at first. I’ve received a door shut in my face, nasty emails, and distasteful glares. So has Amy Taylor. Those failures, however, haven’t stopped me from trying to dissect the backbones of writing: people (including ourselves) and stories. It’s not always gonna be as easy as locating a phone number or email to then hide your face behind a digital wall. Much like anything, finding sources and explaining your idea is a simple selling of yourself.
If you stammer, strike one. If you’re unclear, strike two. If you’re too upfront, strike three.
Sometimes it doesn’t take all three strikes to lose your at-bat with a key subject. But, as a young writer, it’s imperative to learn from those mistakes and not let them keep you down.
From what I’ve experienced, and heard about, people in the Appalachian region are a prideful bunch. Their doors are rich with history and behind them lies the loyalty and love that makes every multi-generational family go. Stories worth telling sit all around this university and in the communities that surround it.
As I walk up to perhaps one of the last doors I’ll knock on in Athens, Ohio ever again, I wonder who will unhinge the lock on the bolt of their home and reveal their vivid past.
Then, *click*, I hear a familiar greeting:
“Yeah? What do you want?”