Help with Moon Shots

If you ever want to see an idea of yours lift off, don’t be afraid to ask for help in the process. When you seek help, you’re likely to land a bit closer to the moon (or on it).

Sounds like common sense, but us humans are a hard-headed bunch. Arguably because we don’t have telepathy. Alright, enough with the space references.

As a graduate student, I had an opportunity to intern with BBC Worldwide in NYC, remotely from Washington.

Although in retrospect I wrote a couple of click-baity articles for BBC Future, it meant a lot to me then, and empowered me greatly as a writer.

Prior to that moment I was not chosen to be an editor for my graduate school journal. If I had been, perhaps I wouldn’t have fought for the opportunity as fiercely with more on my plate.

Never give up folks!

I found the “seeking writers” listing while working part-time at the Communication, Culture, and Technology Program (CCT) of Georgetown University’s front desk. I was answering emails from our general account, when up came an inquiry from someone with a real-deal bbc.com email.

Now, I’d like to take a minute to say that this email was targeted. After being selected for the program, where I met other inductees at orientation in NYC, I realized that the students were from Universities like Brown and UC Berkeley.

I can remember feeling incredibly lucky, and angry that an opportunity like this would not have found me in Kentucky.

Because I was in a communication/technology program, I applied to write for BBC Future. My selection included multiple trials where I sent editors headlines and story-pitches related to the world’s changes.

I have no way of knowing this, but I assume that I was one of the few applicants who crowdsourced my story pitches. I had no shame. I asked all of my bright friends for help by saying, What kind of story about the future would you like to read? Each of their responses led to brilliant concepts that I vetted and packaged into pitches.

After I was selected and speaking to my editor Simon Frantz, who was a former-physicists-now-writer based in London, he said with circle-glasses, “Do you want to know why I chose you?”

I stared at him blankly at my computer screen.

“Because all of your writings were focused on people.”

I smiled. I thought about home. I thought about how much I loved Lexington and what I had written for my community. And then I thought about my peers in CCT.

I could not have fully pulled it off without them. Now, I thank them for their generosity and encouragement.

Whether accomplishments or life-milestones, these events are always better enjoyed when you have people to share them with.

I believe that the myth of the self-made man is unveiled when the network of support steps in to tell you things like, “I remember when you were in your mother’s belly” or “I’ll come get you, what time?”

 

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