Thirty Years Ago: My First Published Article

I’ve been a writer for most of my life and a published author for thirty. My first article appeared three decades ago. The title was “All About Pagers”; it appeared in the now-defunct tech magazine, Radio Electronics.

Radio Electronics - January1983

Here’s a link to a scanned image of the cover and article. If you open the link, you’ll notice a plug for my article on the cover, in the upper-right corner. At that time, I went by Pete DeHaan, which is what my wife still calls me, along with a few others who haven’t yet been retrained.

Most people who I show this to are duly impressed, but their eyes quickly glazed over as they start to read it. The most common question is, “Did you draw the cartoon at the end?” That was what they’re most impressed with, but the answer is “No.”

I agonized immensely over the writing of this piece. Even though I repaired pagers for a living, once I tried writing about them, I quickly realized how much I didn’t know. Working on this brought me to the verge of tears on multiple occasions and swore I would never write another article – which is now ironic, since I make my living wielding words. It was only my personal promise of submitting an article and the lure of a paycheck that kept me going. As I recall, the payout was $300 – and a significant sum for a young whippersnapper.

All these years, I have dutifully saved a copy of this issue, never thinking I would have any use for it. But now I scanned and posted it online to share it with you.

Do you remember the first piece you wrote or published?

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

[Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get you copy today.]

4 thoughts on “Thirty Years Ago: My First Published Article”

What do you think? Please leave a comment!