Like many aspiring authors, I’ve been writing since I was a kid.
When I was ten, I started publishing articles in the weekend youth section of our local (medium-city) paper. I had a lock on the lead article for a while. The content was….banal, I think. I remember one article in particular about the merits of Gardenburgers. Seriously. But I loved seeing my name on the byline.
I went on to become Editor-in-Chief my middle school, high school, and college campus newspapers. I loved everything about it: the fast pace, the thrill of putting my words in front of thousands of eyes. I even loved the deadlines. I’m sure I would have majored in journalism if my small liberal-arts college had offered it.
For years after college, I still wrote daily. I launched various blogs. I wrote about whatever was going on in my life at the time. I wrote about constantly moving for career opportunities, uprooting every couple of years. I wrote about making friends in new cities and change and feeling totally unmoored – challenges that I continue to face.
On the lighter side, I also wrote about running marathons and developing a fondness for craft beers. Though I don’t write about those things regularly these days, I do still run (sometimes – but not nearly as far or as fast as I used to) and I still love beer.
When I had my first baby, I stopped blogging. Not intentionally, really; it just sort of happened. Of course, life was consumed by the minutiae of new parenthood, but as time went on I realized that I liked more privacy. I did not want to write about every jaunt around town. It felt invasive. And that daily-journal style of blogging had fallen out of favor anyway.
So I registered for a creative writing class to fill the void. Going into that first session I was terrified. I had tried to write fiction a few times but I always felt out of my element. And through that class, I still felt out of my element. But I must have showed some promise because at the end, the instructor invited me to participate in a her private critique group, a smaller, more intimate group that met in her home.
There I got invaluable feedback from seasoned peers. Slowly, I started to feel more at home in the role of fiction writer. It’s been six years and I still feel like an imposter sometimes. But then somehow I write something that I think is pretty decent and it gives me the confidence to keep going.
I am 100% “pantser.” Not really by choice: honestly, I’m envious of you and your neatly-outlined novel. I can’t seem to make it work that way.
Born and raised in the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest will always be a home base to me. I’ve lived everywhere from Los Angeles to Boston to New York to Atlanta, but most recently I’m a transplant to the Chicago ‘burbs where I live with my husband and two young children.