A Letter to Roman…

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About a week ago, John Romaniello from Roman Fitness Systems announced he would be offering a paid internship/mentorship. This would be an unbelievable opportunity for any aspiring writer. Applicants needed to submit an essay detailing why they should get the job. I thought it was fitting to post mine on my blog for comments and feedback. Feel free to read through it and leave your comments below! Yes, I included Lord of the Rings references…

Update 11/24: Unfortunately, I was not selected for the mentorship program with Roman. He had over 90 applicants that were all extremely qualified. It would have been a terrific opportunity and will be for those selected. 

Hi, my name is Jeremey, and I’m addicted to writing…

Jumping into the writing world has been a wild and unplanned adventure. Since starting a blog and posting several haphazard ramblings, I’ve become an addict. Some people have Starbucks. I have Starbucks AND writing. Originally, my passion was in exercise and personal training. A year down the road, blogging and following other well-known writers, both in and out of fitness, have opened my eyes to a whole new world of spreading ideas with words.

After sitting back and reveling at the past year, I’ve come to realize just how much I didn’t know when I first started out. I had absolutely no idea that the world of fitness writing existed to such a vast extent.

Falling Prey to Writing

Writing has consumed me. The power to create ideas and publish them online for all to see is addicting. It’s power at its finest level. I love providing information on a personal, one-on-one level with clients, but writing allows me to share knowledge with a broader audience. You don’t know it has taken over until you’re up until 2 AM working on blog posts, and someone calls notice to your new passion. You start calling yourself a writer because after all, it’s what you do for the majority of your time. You begin to critique writing styles and admire writers for more than just their successes but rather their ability to create emotions with words.

I began to see that writing could make a difference.

Putting the right words on paper can effectively change the world. You can influence far more people with a well-shared blog post than you can with any workout design. You can express yourself through writing. Each blog post you read has a different tone and wording, each writer with his or her unique thumbprint. The ability to create something that unique was intriguing. It lured me to write more and more. I anxiously awaited the feedback from putting my posts up on the blog. I waited for every like and share. Every comment felt earth shattering whether it was positive or not.

Over the past year, I’ve been searching for a way to get my message to a broader audience by mastering multiple social media outlets and writing half a dozen posts a week. I continue to elevate my knowledge and audience. So, what does one do when they have a passion to reach a broader audience through writing? They reach out to bigger sources in an attempt to spread their message.

The Roadblock

For many writers, getting published is an uphill battle. It’s similar to the first day of high school. You have no idea where your classes are or what books to bring. Many times, you feel like an outsider to all of the cliques and groups already established. You go out for the football team in an attempt to score some girls and appear cool.

That’s how I started out.

There is a barrier to overcome before you see your name in print. On the other side of the wall lies the end goal of print magazines, book deals, and myriad numbers of bylines with your name on them. That’s the dream. That’s where everyone would like to be.

However unfortunate that barrier is, it is necessary to preserve the quality of writing and prevent just any Joe Schmo from putting pen to paper and exposing the world to mindless ramblings about having big arms that would make Arnold shudder.

That barrier exists for a reason – to preserve the sanctity of writing.

Overcoming that barrier isn’t just a matter of honing writing skills and delivering words in a mastery of text. It’s also a matter of connections – the inside game. It’s continuously learning, reading and bettering your knowledge. It’s also getting to know the right people who have knowledge and relationships to provide, and a need for an apprentice to provide a mutually beneficial relationship.

That’s where we can both help each other.

Meeting the Mentor

The mentor is the key to getting over the hump. It’s the ticket to the cool-kids table.

Any aspiring writer needs a mentor to succeed. More than a helping hand in periods of confusion, mentors serve a purpose as a guiding force. They’ve been there, done that. They know the ins and outs of the industry and the big players. It’s not impossible to make it into the publishing world without a mentor, but it is much more difficult.

Mentors should represent the same qualities a young writer aspires to gain, in this case humor, wit, intelligence, and a vast amount of manliness. I think writing has to be organic and natural. I can’t expect to emulate your style, but I can hope to add aspects of your style that I admire to improve my writing. Since the first read, I’ve been hooked on your techniques. Not simply because of the information contained in each post but more with the style of words and the way they flow onto the page.

By working with you, I hope to translate my passion into a full-time career. Beyond simply networking, I will develop relationships. Past spell checking your works, I will master the understanding of a well-composed blog. More than blogging, I’ll learn the necessary skills to further my career and market my ideas and philosophies. Lastly, I will hone my ability to communicate and tell more vivid and enthralling stories, which form the heart of many of your blog posts.

Choosing a Hobbit

Gandalf made an executive decision when he chose Frodo to be the ring bearer to Mordor. Sure, the ring may have been thrust on Frodo by Bilbo when he was left with Bag End, but Gandalf forced Frodo into the conquest.

You could speculate many reasons why Frodo was the chosen one to lead the quest to destroy the ring. Gandalf sensed he was different then the rest of the hobbits. He had courage, sure. But, he also had a yearning for an adventure. Although Frodo assumed he was happy in the Shire, the conquest satisfied a part of him yearning for something different.

Undoubtedly, you’re going to have tons of applicants. There will be many qualified bloggers and writers submitting essays in an attempt to score this position.

Why on earth should you choose me?

For one, I’m ready for an adventure. I know that this position will throw a lot at me, and I’m ready to take on any challenges that may come about. I absolutely love personal training and working with individuals one-on-one, but I love writing more. I want to translate it from a passion to a career.

Second, I’ll get the job done preserving the wit and humor present in all of your posts.

Third, I have the attention to detail necessary to perfect each blog post and make it the best piece imaginable.

However, I’d venture to guess that many of the candidates could do those three things. So, why am I different?

Insert creativity, imagination, and one hell of a career drive.

After reading your blog and following your page on Facebook, it becomes evident that creativity and imagination form the heart of many of your thoughts. They’re original and innovative. (I mean hell, not many people can fully realize the effect that the Zombie Apocalypse could have on the human race. Thanks to you and Rog, at least I’ll be prepared.)

Creativity and imagination are two key components in being successful in the writing industry. You must be able to create your own ideas and forge your own thumbprint in the ever-growing fitness blogging realm. I have the imagination to build an idea and the creativity to make it attractive to a wide audience.

Since February of 2012, I’ve been successful with breaking in to the ground level of the writing industry. I’ve published over 25 articles on websites like Men’s Fitness, Greatist, and Stack. I’ve secured regularly contributing spots to ConFITdent and other smaller sites where I can showcase my work. Many of these opportunities came from relationships built with editors and publishers, but they also originated from mountains upon mountains of hard work and late nights with a cup of coffee. It’s my intent to continue this drive and diligence into a mentorship with Roman Fitness Systems.

In order to be successful, the intern must have the diligence to do the daily stuff like SEO and proofreading, but they also must have the ability to spur new ideas and create a unique image for themselves. Throughout the time working with you, the interns will gain a world of connections, but it’s up to them to use those connections to become successful. In order to bridge that gap, they must have more than just the business-oriented skills; they must be able to dream (and dream big I might add). I will work to utilize the connections you provide to improve my work with the end goal, again, having my writing and thoughts reach a broader audience.

There are a few things in your life that you realize you could and will do forever. Writing is one of them. Plainly stated, it’s my passion and I will pursue it. I just hope to learn from people I admire in order to get better.

I don’t know where writing will take me, similar to the following quote:

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began,

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many path and errands meet.

And whither then? I cannot say. – The Lord of the Rings

It’s been a winding road since I started. I know it’s something I’m passionate about. This internship is the next stop in the road. If selected, I’ll pursue it with unimaginable amounts of energy and perseverance. I have no doubt that I will be a valuable asset to the Roman Empire.

Fist bump (High fives are overrated),

Jeremey DuVall

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