Monday, May 2, 2011

One Woman’s Journey as a Writer

From my earliest childhood, I have always wanted to be a writer. 

When I was a little girl, my Nana, who was a system analyst back when computers were bigger than refrigerators, would bring home ream after ream of that ginormous green and white computer paper.  I would spend countless hours writing stories and making books out of those pages.
I loved the freedom that I had to create fantasy worlds where I was more than just a child; I was a private eye, a magician, princess or just a working woman like my grandmother and my mom.
Throughout my elementary, middle and high school career, I excelled in English and creative writing; However, my math grades left a lot to be desired.
In college, I was finally able to focus on my writing except for those few mandatory math classes that I suffered through.  I majored in English, minored in journalism, and joined the school newspaper.  My beat was the report on my university’s student council, not too different than my job covering Rolling Hills Estates’ city government when I worked at the Palos Verdes Peninsula News.
Most of the time, the student council meetings were excruciatingly boring, but there were times when the student body would take a stance on a controversial issue and my stories would get juicy.
My student council meetings were held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday nights.  Unfortunately, in order to make it into the Thursday edition of my college newspaper, my deadline was the same day at 8 p.m.
There’s nothing worse than having to work under a tight deadline but, on the same note, there is nothing more exhilarating – knowing it has to be done and that it will all come together is gratifying, especially the relief of completing a particularly difficult piece.
The most important part of working for my university’s newspaper is that it planted the seed in me to become a journalist.
After college, it took me a while to get my writing career on track. I moved to Los Angeles from the East Coast and thought it would be easy to network into that perfect position.  After a year-long stint with a bi-monthly minority trade publication – for which I wrote feature stories and book reviews – I was longing for the challenge of news reporting once again.
After three months of interviewing for the perfect job, I was hired as a reporter for the PV News – sister publication to the Beach Reporter.  While there, I learned a lot about city government, how it works, and how petty and vindication people in elected positions can be.  I’ve never received more hate mail then when I was the Education Editor by just reporting the facts folks.  But I also got to report on “hard” news for the first time in my career and covered my first white collar criminal case.  In addition, writing feature stories brought unique and interesting individuals into my life.
However, the most rewarding part of that job was the commentary section. I loved being able to write about anything and, was told by many of my peers and readers, that I had a special knack for it.  Most of my fans said that I had a way of writing that made them feel like the really knew me, even if they had never met me in person. Sort of creepy and I actually did acquire a stalker or two.
After a few years, I took a pay raise and went to work as an editor for a wire service in downtown Los Angeles.  After a year, I was promoted to sales and that was the end of my “official” writing career.
At the time, I was sick and tired of writing as a career.  It seemed that something I had loved so much had become a mundane daily chore.  I no longer had a passion for it and was excited to transition into something new which would afford me the opportunity to earn more money. 
It was 10 years ago that the switch took place and writing has once again become my passion.  Typically it has been in my journal.  I have kept one religiously since I was 18 years old. (Ah-hem, I just want to say that would be 23 years’ worth of self-deprecating dirt!)  Mostly, I have used my journals for internal reflection, personal bitch sessions and self-lauding cheerleading.  I think the statement most frequently written is… “I feel fat today.”
My husband Jason was one of the biggest fans of my monthly commentaries while I was at the News and has been my biggest cheerleader to motivate me to just start writing again.  I also have Leslie, Natalie, Rachel and, of course, my Nana to thank for constantly encouraging me – even to the point that I hated some of their encouragement because it only highlighted that I wasn’t doing it – to return home to my writing
So with a few false starts, I have finally committed myself back to my writing and have created a blog – All Things Fashionating. I have committed to ATF almost 100 percent since Monday March 7, 2011.
I definitely had some rough patches that caused me not to be able to post every day;  But I understand now that is OK and, as long as I post when I can, then I am realizing my goal of having a creative outlet to express myself through my writing.  My dedication can’t be defined by how often I do it, but just that I am doing it. 
I’m not really sure what my goal is for this blog except to just get my voice out there and be heard.  I am going to try and focus on topics that are more main stream with an emphasis on current events and pop culture. 
But ultimately, this blog is about me.  So I’m just going to continue to write about the things that feel right to me and I hope you join me as I continue my journey and follow All Things Fashionating.

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