Why I Write
I have always loved to write, and have been doing it for as long as I can remember. It started with entries into a diary with a little lock and key. It's fun to go back and read those hand-written notes today. For you Cincinnati Reds fans, I even recorded for posterity the play-by-play of the final 1990 playoff game between our Reds and the Oakland A's! It's a good thing I did, too--what are the odds we'll see another wire-to-wire season like that from our Redlegs? My answer: not any time soon. There's no room for pessimism as spring and, better yet, Spring Training, blooms, but I'm still recovering from the heartbreak caused by the winter trade of 3B Todd Frazier.
I wrote my way through adolescence. I graduated from diary entries into what I termed "Reflections" and I have pages and pages of them dating way back to the 90s. In addition to these expositions on the state of my world, I also wrote a great deal of poetry in those days. Reading through them now, I'm happy to report that at least one-quarter of them don't make me cringe with embarrassment. I was a teenager before the age of email and text messages and so I also stretched my writer's wings through letters to my best friends: Michelle and Kim. Michelle happens to be a member of my family and she and I wrote long letters like friends text each other today. She lived on my grandparents' farm in Indiana and I lived in a Cincinnati suburb so picking up the phone meant incurring long-distance charges. We picked up our pens instead.
Kim was my college roommate. She always loved receiving letters from me--especially when she was studying abroad in Europe. I recently found stacks and stacks of our correspondence. I always appreciated her love for my letters and her encouragement of the writer in me. Plus, she forgave me when I killed her fish while she was away. In my defense, they died of natural causes--I did not intentionally murder them (and it wasn't neglect because I was writing, I swear).
I decided to study English-Journalism in college, hoping to combine my love of writing with my youthful desire to make a profound difference in the world. My dream was to become a stringer--an investigative photo journalist--who would report and tell the stories of those people who could not do so for themselves. It was a noble aspiration, certainly, but I found my attention turning to more down-to-earth goals after I graduated. When my prospects for a glamorous journalism career meant working in Steubenville, Ohio (no offense intended) or working long nights as I did interning with the Associated Press, I decided staying near my family and making my apartment rent payments was a better fit for me. Darn the real world! It occurs to me, however, that in writing a historical fiction novel about Joseph Pierce, I have, in many ways, contributed to telling the story of someone whose story remains relatively unknown in the annals of American History. The lesson? There's more than one way to achieve a life goal--and it's rarely going to be the first way you envision.
My first real world job was actually the same job that I have now--more than 15 years later. More than anything, my job in the communications field enables me to write every day and for that, I am grateful. I have written everything imaginable in the business world: news releases, by-lined columns, employee newsletters, and annual reports. I've been recognized in my field by industry organizations for public relations strategies and writing corporate social responsibility reports.
As much as I enjoy writing for a Fortune 500 company, I've always wanted to write creatively. As a wife to a wonderful man and the mother of three beautiful children, it is not always easy to find the time between my other jobs--the paying one and the more fulfilling and demanding one of household CEO. However, in 15-minute bursts most of every day, and sometimes more often than that when I am lucky, it's amazing what can happen. I'm so happy to be able to share some of what I've written, and God-willing, more of what's to come.