Getting Published In Print (And Being On The Cover): What It Feels Like
I felt very proud to have my writing (and my photography) featured in a print publication. Having my face on the cover? Not so much.
But for someone looking to find footing as a writer and artist, it was truly a breakthrough moment. My work featuring some of my favorite fun things to do in Tokyo was published on the print version and online of Stars and Stripes’ Destination Paradise publication. And I feel this accomplishment was sublime in that it wasn’t just about me; my family and friends truly provided the material and motivation to make it happen. My face was put on the cover, but not just me: one of my best friends, my cousin, and niece are up there with me up front on the printed edition.
Now, about that cover. As I mentioned, I’m not so proud of the appearance. I may appear to be a social butterfly, but anyone who truly knows me in real life understands that I’m quite reserved and mostly quiet. Among those who I feel can trust and understand me, I’ll be relaxed and take comfort and enjoyment in their company. So, hopefully that explains my unsettled feeling about the cover. On top of that, while I take great enjoyment and a degree of pride in my photography, realize that I didn’t even take this photo!
But I heard a great argument, or explanation, in favor of the cover appearance by a trusted soul of mine. She understood the reasoning for this photo being on the cover as it was a very personal and interactive moment with people/persons at one of the featured destinations (Tokyo in this case), which is somewhat uncommon for the typical visitor/tourist. And a photo of people in kimono is not just uncommon, but beautiful and attractive, so it can easily be understood why this photo was put on the cover. And she said I should be proud, in a way, to be on the cover to represent my favorite city, Tokyo.
Ever since I had that perspective explained to me, I’ve gotten a little more comfortable with that appearance. I’m starting to share the publication with my closest friends on Camp Zama. Maybe in the near future, I’ll point it out to my work peers as well. I’m doing it for the honor of Tokyo of course, though I don’t know that the city really needs any more love from me.
But perhaps most of all, I’m doing it for those around me, my family and friends who’ve shaped the most significant, meaningful and fun experiences of a lifetime in Tokyo. Which was my motivation to write the piece in the first place!
The Stars and Stripes Destination Paradise publication is available free on newsstands on many US military installations, and online.