How I Made a Fool of Myself in My First Correspondence with a Fellow Writer

Maybe don’t go around being a grammar police the first time you say hi, will you?
A person covering his face in shame.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


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Since I’m taking Tom Kuegler’s Medium Mastery course, I’m also on their Slack channel.

It’s a community where you’ll find writers like me who just embarked on their writing journeys and more seasoned writers like Jack Heimbigner who has more or less figured out their writer’s voice and has mastered their craft down to a science.


The Background Story

Two days ago, Jack shared his newest article — How to Be Content Without Growing Complacent — on the channel with a rare, and very bold description that said, “Published with Mind Cafe, pending curation.”

How To Be Content Without Growing Complacent

Pending curation? Now, there’s a guy who knows what he’s doing.
For most of us, the only surety we have is that if no one else reads our stories, at least we are going to read the sorry thing a couple of dozen times ourselves so we can sleep better.

Jack’s confidence in his writings amazed me, especially since he put it out there as one big statement for everyone to see.

I read it, gave it a round of applause, and went about my day.

* * *

It Happened

Less than two hours later, Jack posted again in the group saying that the article has been curated in self and mindfulness.

That positively blew my mind and I wanted some of that confidence myself.

So, I did what any hungry writer would do these days and sent him a direct message.


Teach Me Your Ways, Oh Wise One

No. I didn’t say that — although, in so many words, that’s exactly what I said.

I congratulated him on getting the article curated and told him how I noticed when he shared it in the group that it’s pending curation. And I expressed how cool it was to see that it got curated only a few hours later.

I was curious to know how he was able to tell that it’s curation worthy, especially if he had any tips so I can improve the odds of my articles getting curated.

* * *

Turns out the Wise One Is like All of Us

A few moments later, Jack replied but what he had to say was a real bummer.

Instead of the curation hacking wisdom I was hoping for, Jack replied saying that he might have misspoken there when he said that the article was pending curation in the first post.

But he did point me to an article where he shared some of the lessons, and strategies he used to increase the odds of getting curated.

May 2020 Curation and Lessons

And he signed off by asking me to let him know what I think.

* * *

I Obliged

So, I took that to heart and let Jack know what I thought about his curation tips and tricks piece.

I thought it was insightful, although some of the advice such as reviewing your last twenty-five curated pieces was a tad bit hard for me to put into practice considering that I have a grand total of just one curated article.


And Then I Fumbled

After saying all that, I also let him know that I thought he might have used a word incorrectly only to realize a short while later that in the context that Jack used it, he used it correctly.


In the meantime, all Jack said was this: “Hey no problem! I appreciate the grammar police checking up on me.”

Instead of calling me out for being so dumb, he let me figure it out on my own.

No wonder the guy is a Top Writer in Parenting.

* * *

Final Thoughts

You will correspond with a lot of writers in your journey, and you will learn a great deal from your interactions with them.

But please try your best to fight the urges to be a grammar police the first time you correspond with them, will you?

It could save you from making a complete buffoon out of yourself as I did.


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