For almost as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. It just seemed natural to me. The first story I ever wrote was in the first grade, and it was about a little boy who lost his dog. I still have it in a scrapbook somewhere.
In high school, I briefly considered careers as a veterinarian and a park ranger. But, I quickly realized that, though I love animals and the great outdoors, writing is my true calling.
So, I set off in pursuit of a career in journalism. Texas Tech University and its student newspaper were my first stops. I started out as a freshman intern and continued to work on the staff for all four of my undergraduate years. By the time I graduated, ink was coursing through my veins and the AP Stylebook was my bible, dictionary and thesaurus all rolled into one handy guide.
I went to work at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, where I wrote feature stories and served as the fashion editor and then the food editor. When I left to pursue freelance opportunities, I self-syndicated my food column, which was printed in small newspapers throughout West Texas.
During my freelancing years, I wrote for a variety of local publications, produced a couple of projects for the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech and learned the basics of PR and marketing. I created everything from restaurant menu copy to slide show scripts.
When I had the chance to return to Texas Tech as the assistant editorial adviser for Student Media, I accepted the challenge. Two years later I was the full-time adviser and was having the time of my life working with the students and university staff.
Along the way, my husband and I had a daughter and bought Lubbock Magazine, a monthly arts and entertainment publication. We enjoyed taking on all aspects of publishing, from writing and editing to layout and design.
But, two years later, we had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy my late grandparents’ home in rural Stephens County, Texas. We’d frequently talked about living in the country, so we packed up everything and made the move. What a change that was! It’s been a challenge and an adventure for all three of us.
With the move from the city, I also gained the experience of working for a small, community newspaper. After a few years as the Lifestyles Editor for the Breckenridge American, I took on another role in the parent company, producing three quarterly niche tabloid magazines for all five newspapers in the group, as well as other specialty publications. Eventually, in addition to my duties as niche publications editor for Graham News, Inc., I was named Managing Editor for The Graham Leader and Editorial Director for the company’s other regional publications, assisting the editors as needed. Today, I am freelancing, blogging and pursuing a variety of writing projects.
I also blog regularly at www.365LettersBlog.blogspot.com, a site I created about letter writing.
For more information about my career, please click on the Career link above.