If life experience is the best preparation for a writer, I began with some definite advantages. I’ve been everything from a professional dancer to a licensed massage therapist. I’ve worked as a community organizer, a grocery clerk, a dog walker, and an arts administrator. Years back, I even did some ghost-writing for my husband, when he was an overworked freelance copywriter.
Such a crazy-quilt background would count against me in some professions. I’ve come to understand it’s the perfect preparation for a writer.
Raised in New Jersey, schooled in Ohio, I married a rock musician from the South. We lived in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and Maine before settling in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I worked as a writer for my husband, often behind the scenes. About the time I became a young mother, I launched my freelance writing career.
I wish I could say it was something I had always planned to do–it wasn’t. And I was scared to death. Who was I to write anything? Where should I start? How could I ever get published?
After many false starts, I began to write what I knew: parenting pieces, articles and columns about children, parenting styles, marriage. I didn’t feel confident I could succeed, but I put one foot in front of the other, and before long, I had a book, a regular newspaper column, and good magazine contacts.