I have never not been writing.
I’ve journaled for as long as I can remember, written stories innumerable. I even wrote Star Trek fanfics as a kid that I would act out with stuffed animals.
In high school, I was an avid member of the Speech and Drama club, and I tried my hand at playwriting, winning trophies and medals and even a small scholarship once for my efforts.
In college, I turned to my love for the stage, giving it 110%, and while I still journaled, the rest of the writing went fallow.
After college, life happened. I got a job, got married, had kids, stayed a working mom…and then it all went kaboom when “mom” became “special needs mom” and not long after became “single mom.”
While all of that was going on, I had been blogging actively on LiveJournal.com (which was pretty much Facebook before Facebook got big). They have an annual writing contest known as LJ Idol which featured weekly writing prompts, challenges (like writing in teams, reworks, or multiple prompts in one week), sacrifices, immunities, and people being voted off in a weekly poll open to the entire global community, not just participants.
I competed in four seasons, each year pushing myself a little more. Three of the four years, I had to voluntarily drop out due to life getting in the way (the contest takes an average of 10 months start to finish, due to the number of participants). In year four – the year my husband walked out – I decided I just needed to find some discipline.
I’d always wanted to be a “real” writer. I had a half-dozen half-finished novels laying around. I just needed to focus and get my head in the game. That fourth season, I branched out into all sorts of fantastical fiction (which I’d never done in the contest before – I’d only written memoir pieces) and I ended up winning.
Well. Whatta ya know. I felt like a writer.
That empowered me to really work harder at the blogging thing, and when a friend clued me into a job opening at Woman’s Day for a divorce blogger, I gave it a shot. I submitted a few of my better memoir pieces from LJ Idol, and they chose me.
I was over the moon (and so grateful for that second income, believe me – the divorce decimated me financially).
A year after I began blogging for Woman’s Day, I started SingleMomtism.com as a platform for parenting and autism advocacy.
From there came two non-fiction books, and a contributorship with BlogHer and Mom’s Magazine.
I fell in love.
Not with a real person, mind you. With a TV Show.
Yes, I am an avid Oncer. Once Upon A Time started capturing my imagination and led me through a door into something I’d never taken seriously before…
(Oy vey. More on how this helped me write – and finish – a novel next installment).