How I Became a Writer
My journey to becoming a writer started after I graduated college with a journalism degree. I was looking for a more creative outlet, so I took a children’s lit course with a local children’s author. I was hooked, and I soon started churning out story after story, mostly of children’s fiction.
After several years of this with just a few successes (selling a story to a children’s magazine here and there and landing a picture book deal with a small independent publisher), I decided to try something new. I wanted to write a book about one of my passion areas…gardening with kids!
The world of nonfiction fascinated me. You could actually write a book proposal before ever writing the full book! It seemed like a genius way to test the waters, so I put together my first proposal for a book called Project Garden. This proposal landed me a literary agent and then a book deal, and I was thrilled.
At this point, I really felt like I’d found a home for my writing. I loved nature, and I wanted to write more books to encourage kids and families to get outside. I pitched another nonfiction book, The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book. This book received a lot of attention, including a National Outdoor Book Award, and after that, I’ve stayed busy, writing books about nature, animals, national parks, the great outdoors, and gardening. I feel extremely lucky to write about subjects that inspire me each and every day. I strongly believe in the power of the outdoors, and it makes me happy to play a small part in getting others outside, too.
These days, you’ll still find me writing about nature, gardening, and other outdoorsy topics. In addition, I’ve gone back to my roots a bit and am writing both fiction and nonfiction stories for kids. I also work for the wonderful national website, WeAreTeachers.com, and I do a little bit of freelancing here and there when I’m able.
Though I don’t feel like I’ve had a typical path to writing of being an English major or having aspirations of becoming a famous novelist, writing is still part of who I am as a person. Much like the way the outdoors inspires me, writing does the same. I’m humbled to call myself a writer and author. It took me many, many years (and lots of rejections) to get published, but I’m thankful for every step along the way.