I tripped into writing.
Twenty-five years ago, I was a terrible writer. My grammar was atrocious. My word choices lacked diversity and inspiration. And please, whatever you do, don't ask about my skills for spelling and punctuation.
I still struggle with spelling and punctuation.
In high school, I was a B-/C+ student. In college, my grades only slightly improved. And that's because during my first semester in college-I attended Chesapeake College (a community college located 40 minutes from where I lived), I was required to complete 2 refresher courses before I was allowed to enroll in English 101. I kid you not. I was that awful.
But like I said, I tripped into writing.
In 1999, I was invited to write a 1000-word essay about my experience "being a Christian, being single, and dating". I wrote those words for a free faith-based Washington DC newspaper. Dear God, I shiver to even think about what I might have written in that little newspaper. And if you happen to have one of the 500,000 copies hidden away somewhere in a box, please keep it there.
But somebody at Crosswalk.com (a Christian website that had millions of daily readers in the early 2000s) read that article and thought I might be a good fit to become their site's Music and Entertainment Editor. I still laugh thinking about that. But that's what happened: one week I was booking talent and brewing coffee at a Christian coffeehouse in Northern Virginia and the next week I was setting up interviews with folks like Thd Newsboys, Phil Keaggy, Sonicflood, and Third Day. During my time at Crosswalk, I interviewed MC Hammer, Kristen Chenoweth, Patricia Heaton, Kathy Troccoli, and so many others.
Exactly 9 months later--I kid you not--9 months later, I received a phone call from the Executive Editor at Salem Communications asking me if I'd consider flying to Nashville to interview for the soon-to-be vacant position of Editor of CCM Magazine. That's what I did. I flew to Nashville and I not only interviewed that position, I got the job.
While I was thrilled to become the editor of CCM, I was in way over my head. I mean, way over my head. Rather than engaging phone interviews with Christian celebrities, I was now doing in person interviews with Christian celebrities. At the time, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I had coffee with Jennifer Knapp. After picking her up from the airport, I went out dancing with Jaci Velasquez. I sat at Amy Grant's kitchen table and ate her very own homemade corn chowder soup. It was amazing.
Yes, I was in heaven.
Three years later…