Like just about everyone else who writes one of these “about” pages, I’ve been writing since I was a kid.
When I was ten, I started publishing articles in the youth section of our local (medium-city) paper. The content was pretty banal. I remember one article 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 out there. 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 rootless unmoored.
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 (not nearly as far or as fast as I used to) and I still love beer.
When I had my first child, I stopped blogging. Not intentionally, really; it just happened. Life was consumed by the minutiae of new parenthood. But as time went on I realized that I also liked having more privacy. I did not need 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 circle, 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 home 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.