I’ve wanted to be a writer my entire life…
When I was a kid I would fill journal after journal with short stories. Once I hit high school, almost all of my free time was spent hunched over a piece of paper, pencil in hand. I couldn’t stop, the ideas just poured out of me. Granted, they weren’t very good ideas. A lot of what I wrote was a stew of hormones and unrequited love… and bad… did I mention yet that this stuff was bad? So bad…
By the time I turned 18 I had a plan. I was going to graduate from college with a degree in creative writing, pen the next great American novel — which, 18-year-old me believed would sound like a blend of John Irving and Chuck Palahniuk, yikes — and then I’d spend my days counting money.
You know what they say about the best laid plans. Instead of writing I found myself working my way through school. I struggled to balance my two jobs and my school work and ultimately decided to drop out of school to pursue the seemingly lucrative career I’d found in the mortgage industry until I’d saved up enough money to return to school and my dreams of becoming a writer.
Years would pass before I’d write again.
Instead of writing I worked. Instead of writing I got promoted and bought a house. Instead of doing the things I’d always dreamed of, I did the things I never thought I’d do. I fell in love and fell out of love. I went back to school and got married and then divorced and dropped out of school. I did all of this, all of these big things and still, I didn’t write.
Somewhere along the lines I met the right person and became a mom. Nothing makes you assess your entire existence quite like becoming a parent. Suddenly every choice I’d made, and every choice I thought about making, seemed to have repercussions. By not doing the one thing I’d always wanted to do, I wasn’t only telling myself that my dreams weren’t important, but I was telling my kids that too.
I realized then that if I wanted my kids to follow their dreams, and do what they loved, I had to show them how to do it. Which meant, I’d actually have to do it myself.
So, at 33 I started writing again. In 2016, I started the blog that would eventually become this blog. And then, in 2017, I sold my first article. It was a heady experience to actually be paid for my writing. It was a high, and I knew the moment I experienced it for the first time I’d spend the rest of my life chasing it.
And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
In the years since I began my blog I’ve written hundreds of articles, been published in more than 22 publications, and to everyone’s surprise, even been interviewed about my work. I make a living writing. This is my job. I’m a writer. Ten-year-old me is screaming internally right now. Hell, almost-40-year-old me is screaming internally, too.
It is not all sweetness and light. Writing for the internet has caused me to develop a pretty thick skin. People can be terrible, editors can be cold, life can kick you in the teeth when you least expect it… but I think it’s worth it in the end.
Plus, it helps that I have the support to do this. I wouldn’t be able to freelance if it wasn’t for my wonderful husband (and his wonderful W2 job which provides our 26-times a month direct deposit and stellar health insurance).
Ever since the night we met he has been my biggest cheerleader, favorite proofreader, and a voice of reason.
Also, he is incredibly handsome and funny.
Together we have two daughters. They are the perfect mix of the two of us: unbelievably goofy and bursting with creativity and noise. So. Much. Noise.
And there’s no sign that things are going to quiet down any. We’re expecting our third (and-please-dear-god-let-it-be-our-final) baby in April 2020. This one’s a boy and we can’t wait to meet him.
I’m going to keep writing through it all. Through the up’s and down’s of marriage and parenting and life, I promise to keep writing if only so that my children know that if you want something, you have to keep working towards it until you get it.
In addition to my freelance work, I’m working on my memoir, which is based on my experiences with domestic violence (so if you’re an agent, GET AT ME ABOUT THAT ).
I’m not stupid enough to think that this will always be possible — or that I will always be able to follow my dreams and get paid to write, I cut my teeth in the subprime mortgage industry, I know how quickly it can all fall apart — but I promise you, I’m going to ride this high as long as I can.
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