If at first you don’t FC, apply, apply again
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Unlike most B/R columnists, I didn’t grow up dreaming of being a sportswriter. My writing career began at a school I no longer attend through the words of someone I’ve never actually met.
During the first day of my intro to sports administration class at the University of Miami (where I was a business student), someone mentioned to the professor that he had just been accepted into B/R’s exclusive Featured Columnist program. Being the narcissist that I am, my immediate thought was “I could do that.”
So I applied to B/R, and you know what happened? I was rejected. The brilliant visionary whose blog post you’re currently reading was deemed not good enough for B/R just a few months ago.
It was entirely my own fault. I tried to condense a 6,000-word tome into the allotted “500 words or fewer” space without much success. Still, my nonexistent sportswriting career was over before it began.
Except that it wasn’t.
Completely unsatisfied with my rejection, I decided to give it another chance, and this time I was ready. Having actually read the guidelines, I set about writing a succinct piece on Randy Moss’ free agency. Even though brevity has never been my greatest skill, writing for B/R required me to go outside of my comfort zone and make it work. I managed to create something I could be proud of. B/R agreed and decided to give me a chance as a contributor.
Needless to say, I took that chance and ran with it. I published 25 articles in my first 26 days, each better than the last. Through some very helpful editor feedback and the sheer volume of things I wrote, I managed to go from someone B/R initially didn’t want to someone it promoted to Featured Columnist.
If you’re reading this and still haven’t submitted an application to Bleacher Report, go submit a writing sample now. There is no better way to improve as a writer than by actually writing. Remember, the worst that can happen is you get rejected. And really, that might be a blessing in disguise.
It forced me to evolve as a writer, and because of it, I am now a Featured Columnist with over 500,000 total reads in fewer than five months. To those of you who have been rejected from B/R in the past: Give it another go.
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