Our First Times Are Always Special

What writer doesn’t remember their first byline? The very first time they see their names in print. For me, this special event was my name atop an article for the monthly magazine of a non-profit I worked for. The article was about a new breast cancer screening program in our area. The breast self-exam was just emerging as a detection measure against the disease and was being taught to patients. The purpose of my story would be to educate the public in general, and members of the medical profession in particular about the availability of the new effort.

Conducting the research was simple. I made an appointment, told them my purpose, and they were thrilled at the chance for some publicity. Though it was a little odd to conduct part of the interview while topless and having my breasts examined, I found actually experiencing the procedure to be more efficient than taking notes while someone talked to me about it.

I’ve been fortunate since to have had many more articles, short stories and romance novels bear my byline. However, seeing my words and name in print when the article was published a few days later was a thrill I will never forget. As with many of our life events, the first time is always special.

Please stop by and see some examples of my work at www.margohoornstra.com


  1. Hi Margo! What a great post. Thank goodness for authors like you who go the extra mile to get the word out on such an important screening. Even if you have to squeeze it in. : ) A first time is something we never forget. I stumbled across my first published article while standing in a quick mart. It was in a freebie newspaper usually given away near the counter. I’d never gotten an accepatance letter so I was really surprised to see my submission, along with byline in the paper. Very thrilling.
    All the best,
    Tereasa Bellew

  2. Hi Margo! I can’t wait to see my my name in print! Great blog.

  3. Love your blog title – I thought “Wow, Margo, way to share the good stuff!” LOL It was actually great stuff. Congrats on your new release.

  4. Hi Margo!

    Great post – Looking forward to reading the rest of them today!!!

  5. Tereasa,

    Being surprised by a byline is even better than knowing it’s coming. At least I think so.

    Is it going to be April before we can see each other again?

  6. Jennifer,

    Repeat after me – I will see my name in print. I will see my name in print.

    You know you’re good enough. And I do too! 🙂

  7. My pal Jannine,

    Thank you. Thought the title might catch some “gawkers”. Heh-heh.

  8. Florence,

    Take a look at my last one coming at 4 PM. It is beautifully done. 🙂 (Thanks for your help.)

    Always a pleasure!

  9. Margo, I hope my comment gets though. So far, the blogosphere hasn’t been too friendly to me at my own blogspot.

    Yes, there’s nothing like that first time your name appears in print. And I remember when my box of author copies came to my front door by UPS. I actually cried when I saw the books. Happy tears, of course. I hope every aspiring writer gets to have that experience in their lifetime.

  10. Hi, Margo.

    I enjoyed reading your post; it was quite informative.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  11. Great blog, Margo.
    I remember my first byline in my college newspaper. It was the start of my writing career. Since then I’ve seen my name in print in my chapter newsletter and on my own books. The feeling of awe never gets old.

    Thanks for taking the time to share about something important to all women in your blog. Self Breast Exams. Let us not forget to do these monthly.

    Leanne Tyler

  12. Loralee,

    You did make it through. Love your new blogspot, by the way. Beautiful.

    Yeah. Holding that first book is pretty special too, isn’t it?

  13. Tracey,

    A fellow book lover. I like that. Glad you enjoyed and learned from my post.

  14. Leanne,

    A fellow Class of ’85er. You’re right, the awe never does diminish, does it?

    Glad to remind us women, and men too, about the importance of taking care of ourselves.

  15. As a reader I can say I am always happy to see new authors as well as old favourites on the shelf. I never want writers whose books I enjoy to stop writing and creating stories and characters that I fall for. I’m glad you had a “first time” moment in life and hope you experience more. I’m planning to have a few of those in the coming years in all aspects in life.

  16. What a great post – and loved the title to – hehehe : )

    I’ll never forget my first time either. I actually hurt my ankle from jumping up and down in excitement! LOL I can’t wait for the next – nothing beats that feeling, its addictive : )

  17. Great post. I bet there is nothing like seeing your name in print. Congrats!!


  18. Na,

    Yes, firsts of all kinds are special. Thanks for listening about mine.

  19. LaVerne,

    Ouch! But, well worth the pain, I’ll bet!

  20. Toni,

    Seeing your name in print is pretty neat.

  21. It must be exciting to see your name in print. Great post!

    User1123 AT comcast DOT net

  22. Congratulations on all you have published!

    Robin D
    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

  23. Stacie,

    Thank you. I’m pleased you enjoyed it. Hope you learned from it too. 🙂

  24. Robin,

    I’ve had a lot of time in life – or I should of life – to do it.

  25. Hi Margo,
    First times are exciting and we need to celebrate them. Although I wasn’t as excited about my first mammogram as I was about my first sale!


  26. Jana,

    Well said. You and I seem to have a couple of things in common.

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