The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues
Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

Rocky Chronicle career taught me to keep trying

By Nick Pappas

Unfortunately, I applied to The Daily Utah Chronicle four years ago and was flatly denied. “Your voice isn’t what we’re looking for” was the reply. The writer in me staggered to a corner and curled up in the fetal position.

Three years ago, I was doing what all American workers do8212;browsing the Web at my computer and ruining productivity reports. I came to The Daily Utah Chronicle Web page and stewed. The opinion columns didn’t change from one year to the next, though the editors did. The girl who turned me down was gone, replaced by a gentleman named Matthew Piper. He had a nose for good writing. He certainly had a nose.

What the hell. I was a cartoonist for my high school paper. Maybe I could make a few extra bucks doing that. I wrote an e-mail to Piper offering my services, both as an artist and “possibly a writer.” We definitely need a cartoonist, he said, but the need for writers isn’t great. Submit some work and we’ll see how it goes.

I took a chance. I wrote about a pervasive topic in Utah8212;gay rights. It was enough to start a new chapter in my life. I drew five cartoons in my three-year Chronicle career. I wrote more than 150 columns.

If I had never taken that one chance, everything would be different. Writing for The Chronicle changed my life.

It has taught me that perfection is impossible. One hundred online comments telling you what a loser you are can do that. Hearing that a communication course analyzed an article I wrote about Chris Buttars emphasizing “how not to write a persuasive argument” can do that. Sometimes you write something wonderful and sometimes you write something terrible. What is important is that you write.

It has taught me that change is inevitable. When I didn’t get the job as the opinion editor, I could have raised a fist to the sky and went back to an unproductive life. Instead, I took a position writing sports. That choice put me on the press box fifty-yard line of an undefeated season. It allowed me to ask questions to Kyle Whittingham that I could have only wondered as a mere spectator. It took me on a road trip to Las Vegas to watch Jim Boylen yell triumphantly as he cut down the nets. Change is inevitable. Sometimes clear skies turn to rain clouds. Grab an umbrella and keep walking through the puddles.

To Piper, thank you for taking a chance on an unpolished writer. You took me out of that dark corner and showed me that those who blindly criticize are just shadows on a wall. You would never accept less than my best.

To Lindsey Sine, thank you for believing in my potential and taking my side. You are an inspiration. As I read stories about the U.S. Ski Team and your travels, I am awed by your ability to remain classically beautiful and maintain a blue-collar work ethic. I hope someday you get your net gun.

To Tony Pizza, thank you for sending me a text. Lying down in a shattered car on a snowy road to Ft. Myers, Colo., the last thing I remember is you offering me a job on my cell phone. It was somehow proof that I was going to be fine, that there was a future waiting.

You are a great editor and I look forward to reading your work down the road.
Thank you to everyone who read something I wrote8212;whether you hated it and never want to see my ugly, wild-haired mug shot again or whether you took time to write me a letter telling me those words had meaning. I’ll remember all of you.

And to Ana, you were and will always be the right choice in every way. If I didn’t take a chance three years ago, I would have never met you. That’s worth more than a thousand words on a thousand pages.

A beautiful woman once told me that there are so many people out there who’ve given up on their dreams, you can’t help but succeed if you keep trying. There will always be those who say your voice isn’t what they’re looking for. Keep talking. If no one is listening, then learn to sing. Someone will hear you.

Goodbye for now. I’m off to write the next chapter.

[email protected]

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Daily Utah Chronicle welcomes comments from our community. However, the Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to accept or deny user comments. A comment may be denied or removed if any of its content meets one or more of the following criteria: obscenity, profanity, racism, sexism, or hateful content; threats or encouragement of violent or illegal behavior; excessively long, off-topic or repetitive content; the use of threatening language or personal attacks against Chronicle members; posts violating copyright or trademark law; and advertisement or promotion of products, services, entities or individuals. Users who habitually post comments that must be removed may be blocked from commenting. In the case of duplicate or near-identical comments by the same user, only the first submission will be accepted. This includes comments posted across multiple articles. You can read more about our comment policy at https://dailyutahchronicle.com/comment-faqs/.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *