It’s never too late!
In my 40’s, I looked at the looming certainty that my kids were growing up and realized I needed a purpose. Over the years, I’d worked in various jobs, but always dreamed about writing. I knew when the youngest left for school, I’d better be prepared to fill my suddenly empty time or I’d drive after him. I chose freelance writing.
I decided to take the leap. In the beginning, I was intent being traditionally published in the book market. I entered an MFA program, studying techniques to bring my fiction ideas to life. We needed to be well-rounded, so the program required classes in other forms of writing.
Freelance Writing Inspiration
One class in particular, Freelance Writing for Publication, assigned the students to write a feature article for publication. We performed interviews and identified valuable quotes. It was like writing a book, with a complete character arc, setting, tone and a lesson learned. I was hooked.
Writing About Art and Winning
I chose to write about an art trip I’d recently taken to remote Ossabaw Island, a barrier island and natural preserve on the coast of Georgia. My article touched on the breathtaking natural beauty of the salt marsh, the donkeys of Ossabaw and the challenges in producing sustainable, natural fabric. It earned an award in the 2017 Writer’s Digest Writing Competition – Magazine Feature Writing. What a proud moment for a new writer!
Exploring the World Through Writing
It wasn’t just winning an award. I found it really gratifying to explore one subject that seemed so interesting to me in depth. I don’t know – maybe I have a shorter attention span, but writing and researching one subject thoroughly and writing the whole piece immediately was super satisfying. After it was over, I went to the next interesting subject, and then again. I’ve explored the value of supplements with a registered dietician, visited an island with no road to the mainland to speak to locals about a hurricane, gone backstage with a reggae band, vented with other parents about dealing with children leaving for college and tasted exotic spices, all through my writing.
How Can You Do It?
One last thing – someone paid me to do it!
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