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What I learnt from my first attempt to get my work published

“You write so well. You should get your work published.”
That comment was from one of my colleagues. Me? Published? It had never crossed my mind before she said that, and this wasn’t one of those comments that people say in passing. She actually meant it.
Let me tell you the backstory of how we got to this point.
I had started an internship with a management consulting firm and during my break time, you’d find me reading articles from the top Nigerian blogs of that period. One day, as I consumed my daily dose, my colleague turned to me and asked why I loved reading “those long articles”. I had to explain to her that reading is one of my hobbies and I enjoyed writing in journals, even though it had been a while I had written anything.

She encouraged me to write something and every day, she would follow up with, “Have you written something now?” I eventually wrote a story so that she would leave me alone. I had no idea that the story would lead to something even bigger. My colleague now wanted me to publish what I had written. Just as I began to wonder how I would get it published, she asked me to reach out to the editors of the blogs I visited frequently.

At this point, I began to panic internally. Was my work really good enough to be featured on such platforms? How would I just send a random email to the editor? I was merely an intern. You can imagine that this colleague was quite the persistent one so I knew I had to do something.
I summoned the courage some days later to write to one of the editors. I introduced myself as a budding writer and mentioned that I had a piece that could be featured on their website. Till date, I am still waiting for their response. Because my colleague wasn’t going to rest until my work was published somewhere, I reached out to the owner of another platform I had stumbled on in my quest for fictional content through LinkedIn.

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Thankfully, she responded and although she could not feature me on her website, she redirected me to another platform where I sent my story to. Three weeks after that, my story was published on that platform. I’ll confess, it felt good and it gave me the courage to do more.
As I began to write more articles and stories, I honed my skills even more and got several opportunities to have my work featured on different platforms. I wonder what would have happened if I didn’t have that push from my colleague. I would have remained in that state of mind where I always questioned whether my work was good enough.

The truth is that the first story I wrote wasn’t great but for the point I was in 2012, it was good enough. I was able to use the feedback from that first story to improve myself. I remember one comment that was particularly hurtful. The person called me an amateur writer! In hindsight, the person was right. Instead of crawling under the duvet because of that feedback, I decided to do better. Some weeks after my first story was published, my stories soon became the Editor’s Pick of the Week – the highest prize for users of that platform.

This incident has taught me something about growth. It happens in action. You cannot be a better write if you do not write; and you cannot evolve into a great writer if your work remains buried in a folder on your laptop. You have to publish it. You have to share it. Whatever knowledge you have now in your field of expertise, you will only improve and grow as you use it. Instead of constantly second guessing yourself, why don’t you go for it. Send out that article. Share that content on social media. Teach something around the topic you are passionate about.

Don’t stay hidden and buried. I believe that no matter the level you currently find yourself in, you have knowledge and wisdom that can benefit other people. I was an intern when I took the plunge to publish my work. That step has led me into the ocean of communications where I have had even greater opportunities open up to me.
So what are you waiting for? I encourage you to plunge in and show the world your brilliance.

About Adedoyin Jaiyesimi
Adedoyin Jaiyesimi is the Chief Communications Consultant at The Comms Avenue, a capacity building and knowledge exchange platform for leading and innovative communications professionals across the world. The Comms Avenue offers high-level knowledge sharing meetings and training programs for communications professionals and corporate organizations.
She has vast experience consulting for international organizations and top corporate executives and specializes in providing strategic communications consulting for development, philanthropic and corporate organizations, helping them to develop and implement a robust communications strategy.
Adedoyin has successfully executed projects for the W Community, Women in Business, Management and Public Service (WIMBIZ), Leading Ladies Africa, Heritage Bank, African Philanthropy Forum amongst others. She has been profiled on She Leads Africa, Leadership Newspaper and Lionesses of Africa. She was also featured as one of The Spark’s Visionary Women in 2019.
Instagram – @adedoyinjaiyesimi
Email – adedoyin@thecommsavenue.com

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