Monday, September 30, 2013

Why I Write

Writing is something I stumbled into. Literally. (No pun intended!)

Back in high school (seems sooooo long ago), I was blessed with some very good English teachers. Back then, English and writing went hand-in-hand. At the time, I didn't realized the blessing being bestowed upon me and my fellow classmates. Actually, it felt more like torture was being bestowed upon us. Who in their right minds, I wondered, would ever know how to diagram a sentence or conjugate a verb?

Armed with a decent working knowledge of the English language, I went to college to learn enough to go into broadcasting. Radio and TV were where it was at for me, so I majored in Radio-TV-Film. That course of study required more English, as well as Journalism. It was there I learned the importance of stories. Everyone has a story. People like to hear true stories told well. I started writing them. 

My career path led me to advertising, first writing and producing commercials for television, then branching out into print media, writing ads for newspaper, magazines and billboards. Radio ads followed--a challenge, because there were no visuals. "Theater of the mind." I had to write advertising copy that created an image in the listeners' mind, while establishing a need, solution, and call to action. 

My next forays into writing came at Northpark Mall, where I wrote press releases, memos and letters to merchants, corporate communications and more for about ten years. After I left Northpark in 2001, I put out "feelers," trying to see what could be next on my career path. It was then that Annie Oeth ask1 me if I'd like to do some freelance writing for the Madison County Herald. I've been writing for the Herald since 2002. I've probably written over 1000 articles for the Madison County Herald, Northeast Ledger, Rankin Ledger and Clarion-Ledger. I have written regular articles for several other publications, including The Mississippi Business Journal, Portico Jackson, VIP Jackson, Delta Business Journal, Delta Magazine, Our South, eat.drink.mississippi, and many more. 

I love what I do, because it's always new and exciting. I meet new people, learn new things and experience things I may not have unless I was assigned to write about them. My hope is that those who read my articles will be as interested in the stories as I am, and that they'll want to go out and experience things they may not have otherwise. 

So, while I didn't set out to become a freelance writer, I slowly realized that I could build a career around it, and I started to dream of how that career would look. 

So, why do I write? Here's my homage to David Letterman! 

Top Ten Reasons I Write: 
10. It's a fun way to earn a living.
9.   I get to meet new people.
8.   I get to learn new things.
7.   I secretly like to see my name in print.
6.   I have some great tax write-offs.
5.   I can work from home.
4.   I can work from anywhere!
3.   I can work in my pajamas.
2.   I can work any time I want.
1.   I like it when a story comes together and I get to see it "come alive" in print, with photos.

So, thank you, high school English teachers, for being such hard asses. I hated you then, but now, many years later, I realize the gift you gave me, and I appreciate it.

Shine! Be brilliant!


1 comment:

  1. This is so inspiring. As an aspiring freelance writer, this make me want to run out of my fulltime job, do a fun jive, and sing to the car.