Yeh, I love books. I have always read which naturally led to writing. I excelled in English, spelling, and composition. Math and science though, forget about it. I spent hours at the library, devouring a book a week. The librarian and I were on a first name basis and she would save books for me that she thought I might like.
I began writing short stories when puberty hit. Many call them "diaries" I called them "lifesavers." Without writing my thoughts down each day I wouldn't have survived those teen-angst days.
I continued to write throughout my high school years, yelling and screaming in notebooks the words that I couldn't get out of my mouth. It wasn't until after my daughter was born that I made the decision to actually pursue some kind of career in writing. I was blissfully unaware about how these things work. I would write a story or poem that I thought was the most brilliant piece in the world and send it off to the Publishing Gods. Much to my despair, rejection letter after rejection filled my mailbox. I was discouraged and my confidence took a major hit. It was several years before I decided to try again.
When a poem I had submitted to some obscure weekly paper was accepted, I was on cloud nine. It was enough though, to boost my ego and get my ass in gear and start learning the art of pitching an idea and being persistent. Pitching an article is my weakness, either the magazine likes it or they don't. I hate wasting time trying to convince an editor that my writing is worth reading.
That was my downfall, not being able to brown-nose and add in a lot of fluff in order to get an editor to take a shot on me. It was years before I landed my first gig, with a travel website focusing on Maine. It was a paying weekly column and that by-line led me to my column, Mom's Eye View. That column and the visibility of over 30,000 readers was the touchstone that convinced me to write my first book, This Ain't Shakespeare. Although, not a big seller, because I was ignorant to the ways of marketing and promoting, I was, and still am very proud of the poetry in that book. I poured my feelings and heart into the love I felt for my family. It's a very personal book and reveals a much younger and impressionable woman than I am today.
This Ain't Shakespeare is available free from this site with the purchase of either, I Heard You or Mom's Eye View.