After my last post “The Story of Us & How Mexico Has Changed Our Destiny Forever”, I spent the next several weeks very focused on creating, editing and finishing my article for Elephant Journal.
Writing for a specific audience and platform outside of the known landscape of my blog is very different. Honestly, it was very challenging to stay within a defined word count and needing to “trim it down” and “hone in on my message”.
You see, an individual piece within the context of my blog has a definite continuity and thread tying one story to another…a certain cohesive chronology and relationship between the pieces. Standing alone, without the backdrop of my blog as a whole to support, compliment and fill in any intentional or incidental gaps…well, it’s just very different.
And my pictures tell their own story. Together with the written word, they lend enhanced imagery to the written word. Knowing that not all of the photos that I submitted with the piece would be published made getting the words down just right even more challenging.
Lastly, having a piece accepted for publication by Elephant Journal also means granting them editorial rights…a little unnerving to think of having my voice and style tweaked a bit, but it was a chance I was willing to take. I was not about to miss this opportunity to be published on such a solid, well-known platform as Elephant Journal, what with a readership of over 17 million a month!
After much thought, reflection, editing, taking a break and then coming back to do it all over again, I at last finished my article and pushed send when we were vacationing in the Yucatan during Semana Santa. The next day I heard back from the editor that they were indeed accepting it for publication! Woohooo! A Big Happy Dance broke out in The O’Grady House!
Having my work featured on Elephant Journal was a game changer. To date, there have been over 73,000 views of my article “We became an Expat Family“. Not bad for a first-timer. The increased exposure has been great, creating a broadened connection with other like-minded wanderlust souls looking for (or already living) a life outside of the box and on their own terms in Mexico or elsewhere in this big, diverse world.
The majority of feedback from readers has been positive, encouraging, kind, supportive.
Surprising (but to be expected, I suppose) was the small cast of negative nellies that felt compelled to stand in judgment of with their chosen interpretation (or misinterpretation as it may be) of somebody else’s life. You can see for yourself on the long comment thread below the EJ article itself. This was eye-opening and skin thickening, for sure, however, I learned long ago that “you spot what you got”. People will interpret, judge, make assumptions or conclusions on things based on their own personal circumstances, dispositions, life-outlooks, and experiences.
Ultimately, all that really matters is living a life of integrity and honesty, standing in truth, and being proud to do so.
I am. We are.
Saludos de Los O’Gradys in Mexico.
To see the full article on Elephant Journal, please click here: We became an Expat Family
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