The story you are about to read is true.
No names have been changed to protect the, um, guilty because ... well, because I did it.
And I'm willing to share my moment of embarrassment with you, my fellow writers, because I know you won't hold it against me. And you won't laugh at me.
Way back in when I was a beginning writer, I attended a writers conference. My main goal was to pitch some magazine articles to Beth Jusino
, who was then the editor of MomSense
, the magazine for Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) International
Right before the opening session of the conference, I slipped into the women's bathroom. (FYI: The restrooms at The Broadmoor
. I'm just saying.)
As I washed my hands--See, Mom, I listened!-- I said hello to the woman standing next to me. I glanced at her name tag and then, for some unknown reason, I broke the cardinal rule for any writer attending a writers conference.
(beginning to put my foot in my mouth): Oh! You're Beth Jusino! You edit MomSense
! (Anytime you're talking with that many exclamation points--stop talking.)
Yes, I am. (Notice: No exclamation points.)
I have an appointment with you tomorrow!
Yeah, I've written some magazine articles ...
About then it hit me: I was pitching to an editor in the women's bathroom!
Well, not really. But kind of. Almost. I hadn't pulled out any articles and backed her into a stall, but still ...
Oh. My. Gosh. I can't believe I just did that. I am so sorry. (No, I didn't grovel. I wanted to maintain some semblance of professionalism.)
Truthfully, I don't remember our conversation word for word. I do remember the location. And I do remember the verbal faux pas. If you're wondering if I had enough courage to face Beth again during our 15 minute appointment, I did. And she even asked for (and published) an article
Even better, Beth and I became friends. We were able to laugh about my mistake--and she often shares that story at writers conferences. (I'm not sure if she uses my name or not.) She encouraged me when I thought about writing a book about late-in-life motherhood
and pitching it to MOPS.
In Your Words: Less than perfect moments happen in the writing world--and sometimes you're front and center in those moments. Handled with grace, a faux pas doesn't have to be the end of the world--or your writing career. Have you experienced any "I want a do-over" moments? How did you deal with them?
Labels: a professional faux pas, Beth K. Vogt, writing life