I’ve loved to write since I was in elementary school.
In fourth grade, my teacher entered a few of my pieces into a regional writing contest, and I began winning awards for poetry and fiction.
I never thought writing was difficult, and looking back, winning awards on a fourth, fifth and sixth grade level probably wasn’t that great of an accomplishment.
The biggest effect of these experiences didn’t come from the awards I won, but from the words of the people around me.
“You should be a writer when you grow up.”
I never thought twice about these comments from people. Writing never seemed like a realistic job to me.
Writing was fun.
I was going to be a veterinarian, and I knew it from the time I was 5 years old.
When I got accepted into Mizzou’s pre-veterinary scholars program my senior year of high school, all my dreams were finally being realized.
Flash-forward a year later and I’m at a completely different school in a completely different state with a completely different major.
And I couldn’t be any happier. I’m actually getting paid to write. Something that I’ve always considered a hobby is now a job.
When I applied to The News last semester, I wanted to sell ads.
Somehow Ryan Richardson – my former editor – got his hands on my application and asked if I wanted to write for the sports section.
I can’t really think of two things that I’d like to combine and make a career of more than athletics and writing, so of course I took him up on his offer.
I couldn’t have asked for a better editor at my first real writing gig than Ryan.
He answered all of my annoying questions, he put up with my rushed and erroneous stories and he never insulted my writing, even when I?knew it was subpar.
Working for The News as a writer has already taught me so much. It’s introduced me to new sports, new people and new experiences.
I’ve gained so much respect for people on all ends of the sports media spectrum.
Producing a sports section requires a combined effort from so many sides. The athletes, coaches, sports information directors, editors and all of the writers must cooperate to produce the expected stories, whether this effort is recognized or not.
I can hardly contain my excitement to start this new chapter as editor. I look forward to finishing out what’s been a great year and starting it all over in the fall.
Column by Mallory Tucker, Sports Editor