Not everyone deserves an opportunity. It is a fallacy of the current generation that everyone has the inherent right to a chance. I am 5'4" and that is as tall as I will ever be. When I was a child I was shorter (a Small Child, even). I played in one youth basketball season and scored one basket (the only game my dad missed in my hideous Cavalier colored jersey). I had no business playing youth basketball, but my parents forked over hard earned money to give me the chance to do something.
Truth be told, I just wanted to be better than my sister who was/is a jock. Lettered in two sports- basketball and soccer-in high school and currently a tri-athlete. In med-school.
I do not know why Joshua gave me the opportunity he did. At the time I submitted my first article to PureMTGO I was largely a forum troll stumping for Pauper Magic on Magic: Online. My forum posts were largely puff pieces designed me make me seem smarter and better than I actually was. He was an editor on a start up site. I was in a bad place, isolated from all my friends and still finding my footing in grad school. Writing about Magic was my outlet, my way to feel good.
And my early writing was bad.
Not bad as in full of typos and grammatical errors, but bad as in I had a false sense of entitlement. I felt I deserved the chance to write and dammit, people should read the words I spent so much time writing. Josh saw past the bluster and encouraged me to keep writing. All throughout graduate school and for a large portion of the next years he let me write when I felt like it and never demanded me to give him more content. He understood what my strengths were and encouraged them. Slowly, with his help, I toned down the wind and focused on the words.
Then I stopped writing. Work was too hectic. The job hunt was too much. I turned down an offer from another friend and repeatedly denied Josh, encouraging him to find other writers. I couldn't be bothered.
Of course, that all changed when I got a message from Star City Games asking me to join their roster. Suddenly, I was writing again. I don't know if I deserved that chance.
For the past year (and really more of the past two months) I have been focusing on improving my craft. I've also been chatting with Josh again as he documents his grind for QPs. We talk Pauper even though he is not as immersed as I am. Today, I talked to him about my writing. I asked him which pieces of mine he liked and he pointed out one he loved and one he was less fond of. He casually threw this my way at some point:
"But mostly I read you because you're a good writer"
Josh never lost faith in me, even though over the past 6 years of writing I've certainly wavered. I still don't know if I deserved the chance I was given (call it impostor syndrome), but I know I am going to make damn sure I take advantage of it.