I grew up certain I wanted to be a paleontologist. Finding dinosaur fossils was my adolescent dream, but when I got to college and found out I needed to pass Calculus in order to realize this dream, it fell flat. I discovered during my undergraduate years a passion for writing that began to flourish in my senior year. In 2007, I graduated with a BA in Art History, a few college newspaper articles under my belt, and no idea how to turn that into the career I wanted.
My dad offered me a job at his new insurance agency, so I studied up, took the tests, and became a licensed producer in personal lines (home, auto, life, and health). In addition to helping to manage the office and sell insurance, it was also my job to write and edit all outgoing written materials, including our agency blog. After a year and a half, I discovered that I enjoyed writing about insurance, but not selling it.
The next ten years were spent freelancing on the side while I worked in other roles to support myself. This allowed me the opportunity to be exposed to a number of industries, while simultaneously expanding my repertoire of writing skills. I wrote press releases, blogs, website content, white papers, brochures, and more. I worked as a journalist, as a marketer, as a special education paraprofessional, and as a martial arts instructor. During these years, I pursued a more thorough writing education as well.
I studied first with Writer’s Digest, enrolling in one of their online workshops. From there, I found my way to the Long Ridge Writers Group (now The Institute for Writers). Through my coursework in publishing articles and short stories, I came across National Novel Writing Month. For years I volunteered with that organization as well as with JuNoWriMo, helping to organize regional events and fundraisers, social media marketing, and author pep talks. In January 2014, I enrolled in a master’s program and studied English and Creative Writing. During those fifteen months, I was invited to join both Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society, and the National Society of Leadership and Success.
In June 2017, I began pursuing my MFA in Fiction, with a Graduate Certificate in Teaching Composition. Beginning in September 2018, I’ll be teaching Freshman Composition at Southern New Hampshire University.