There is something you must know. I am KIND of the Queen of writing e-mails that are way too big for my britches.
Here are some mini-anecdotes to illustrate my point:
I have a friend/mentor named Beka Watts. I stalked her blog for the better part of six months before I finally sent her an e-mail that went a little something like this: "Dear Beka, you're amazing. How can I be amazing, too? Where do I start?" Okay, so it was more specific and heartfelt than that. As I pressed send, I envisioned that e-mail to be the dawn of this whole Oprah Winfrey/Maya Angelou mentorship-of-the-century. Crazy? Yes. True? Yes. I mean, I'm not Oprah Winfrey quite yet, but it was the beginning of a friendship that has spanned years, articles, pitches, and many refining experiences in finding myself as a writer. It started with that e-mail.
Once upon a time (get your popcorn, this one's a blockbuster), I e-mailed the editors of a super popular, #KINDOFABIGDEAL website about why I DIDN'T apply for their job as Food Editor. Once again, crazy? Absolutely, but let me explain. You see, I saw that job and wanted it SO BADLY, but I knew I was not anywhere NEAR qualified. I also knew that I wanted to get their attention, and I had my window. They e-mailed me back in a matter of almost 10 minutes and said my e-mail was "one for the record books," and that they would like to have me on board in some way in the coming year. Here's the juicy part: They proceeded to plagiarize my pitch article that I sent shortly after. Yep. Word for word. OOPS, BAD EXAMPLE. Nevertheless, I bounced back, realized I had an e-mail conversation with some BIG TIME EDITORS, and went on to become a Food Writer for a company who actually respected and valued my ideas.
I e-mailed another editor to simply ask for writing opportunities. I got them! I signed a freelance contract and wrote for the publication for almost a year before going into teaching.