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This is not my first byline. I’ve been published many times before. But it is my first published work as a freelance writer and the first article I’ve sold since moving to Washington two months ago. Maybe that’s why it feels different.

I think all writers are a little egotistical. I love the writing and I love informing people, but I also like seeing my name under the headline. I love the recognition of being a writer; the validation of seeing my work featured prominently. No matter how many things I write and sell, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that feeling.

For me, these articles are about more than paying for my utilities. They’re proof that my education taught me a valuable skill. They’re also the fulfillment of an impossible dream. These articles are built upon the work of the very talented journalists I’ve used as sources, but in a small way, I feel like one of them. I feel like a writer. And I’ve got the publishing credentials to back me up.

Sure, this isn’t The New York Times, but it’s a real step toward my career goals. Writers write and determined writers show their writing to the world. This is not my first byline, but I guarantee it’s the first of many.

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Jonny Eberle is a freelance writer in Tacoma, WA. He’s a staff writer for Grey Cell, a news site covering foreign policy and conflict areas. Click the links below to read his first batch of articles and follow him on the Twitter machine.

Egyptian military coup puts U.S. relations, democracy in jeopardy
Sectarian tensions rise in Iraq
U.S. steps back from brink of launching air strikes in Syria

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