I remember the first story I wrote. It was an assignment before parent/teacher conference, and I created a tale about a farmer and his amazing dog. I was in Mrs. King’s first grade class, and we used this long paper that was blank on top for our illustrations and had lines below for us to write.
Mrs. King told my parents I had a knack for writing. My mom and dad encouraged me to read and write, so I did (between neighborhood games with my friends). I always enjoyed it, but never took writing seriously.
When I was a junior in high school, I started thinking about a career. The school guidance counselors gave us a test that was supposed to steer us in the right direction. Imagine my shock when they said I should be a funeral director!
Since that wasn’t quite the future I had in mind, I thought about the things I enjoyed. I decided to explore my writing potential because my English and creative writing classes were easy. I took the writing aptitude test for the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL), and was thrilled when they accepted me. I was assigned to a wonderful instructor, who taught me that writing was much more than those high school classes.
I went on to take a few more ICL courses, but was scared to submit any work for publication. I worried I wasn’t good enough. I feared rejection, so I quit writing.
I started college as a journalism major. It was difficult to get into the upper-level classes, and I wanted my degree so I could get out and make my mark on the world. I switched to a political science major, but didn’t know what to do with myself after graduation. I worked at a bookstore, then for a government agency, and then moved out of state. While working at a health club by day and a sushi bar by night, I figured out what I wanted to do. I returned home, took the LSAT and applied to law schools.
I surprised myself by getting onto the staff of The Journal of Contemporary Law when I was a law school student at the University of Utah. Even more surprising was the note I received from the editor, asking to publish the writing sample I submitted. I remember thinking that the research and writing was rather effortless, and the writing bug came back and bit again.
I went on to have another article accepted by The Journal of Contemporary Law the following year, and felt great. After law school, I decided to pursue a course through Long Ridge Writing Group, and my confidence soared. The first short story I sent out for publication was accepted, and the next one, and the next. I took another Long Ridge course and wrote an entire novel. Although it is collecting that proverbial dust, I have written several other manuscripts, and am proud to say I will finally be a published author in December 2012 (thank you Musa Publishing!).
I still dream of being a full-time writer, but until my dream comes true, I am a corporate attorney and an adjunct professor. I am also a wife, daughter, runner, quilter, and mom to four rescued dogs.
My writing journey has been long, filled with acceptances and rejections. If I could go back in time, I would take a chance on myself and submit those first stories. Since that’s not possible, I can only write in this moment and look forward to future publications.