Friday, October 23, 2009

Fits and Starts

Wow! I was very honored to be featured as The Home School Mom's Site of the Week this week! Thank you. As a result, I've garnered quite a few more followers. Again, thank you!

This seems like a good time to update my where-else-to-find-me status. Much to my great amazement, my articles have been (or will be) featured on TEN different sites in addition to this blog! Here's the list:

Heart of the Matter Online, regular contributor
Lesson Pathways Blog, contributor
The Old Schoolhouse, First Mate on the '08-'09 TOS Review Crew
Codex Publishing, newsletter writer
CurrClick, occasional newsletter contributor
Homeschool Buzz, my blog is linked, so my posts show up on their site
The Homeschool Watercooler, my article on portfolios won first place
The Homeschool Lounge, I'm a sistah & I'd love to be yours
The Home School Mom, SOTW 10/21/09
Anne Elliot's newsletter/blog, my article on how to plan ahead for Christmas will be featured there soon

I've got some other projects in the works, and if they pan out, I'll be sure to update this post.

People have been asking me how I got started writing and editing, so here's a glimpse into my journey. I think my journey actually started when I learned how to read. I fell in love with books and magazine in first grade. Shortly thereafter, I was circling grammar and spelling errors in the weekly church bulletin. However, becoming an editor or a writer never entered my mind until recently.

So, what happened? Well, the school I attended for middle and high school did not have a strong writing program. In fact, I think I wrote only two or three actual papers during my six years there. Boy, was I in for a shock when I hit college! I quickly recovered and did fairly well on papers there. I did a little bit of technical writing during my first few jobs after college. Then I started having babies.

My husband and I decided that I would be a stay-at-home mom, and I have been (mostly) for the past 14 1/2 years. While my kids were younger, I taught piano lessons from my house to generate a little income. As they got older, I branched out into teaching GED classes and running a private school music program. These things were good in their time, but I began to weary of living in my car. I decided it was time to look seriously for a legitimate job I could do from home.

A few years ago, I started thinking about editing and writing, but wasn't sure where to start. A friend of mine suggested I start a blog. I said, "A what?" (Obviously, I've figured out the blog thing!) Shortly thereafter, I stumbled upon an affordable, reputable copyediting class online. I took the class, updated my resume, and blitzed every online market I could find. It took a few months, but I eventually landed a fairly steady job with a particular publisher copyediting books online from home as a freelancer. I've also done copyediting for a few other sources. About that same time, TOS was advertising for product reviewers. I made the cut (from over 500 to 100) and reviewed nearly 50 homeschool products last year. Some of my reviews were even featured in TOS newsletters.

The more books I edited, the more I thought to myself, I can write better than this. Hey, I think I even have a few unique ideas about which I could write. Through some online contacts, I found Heart of the Matter Online, an online daily blog and quarterly magazine for Christian homeschooling parents. I've since become a regular contributor, which has opened up other doors for writing (see my list above).

I've written some longer articles that I've sent off to traditional print magazines, received a few rejection e-mails, and a few interested emails. Here's my true confession for this post: I have yet to see any of my work printed on glossy pages that I can hold in my hands. Sigh. Yes, I do have some articles that are pending, and I promise I'll keep you all in the loop.

My writing/editing journey is far from over, but it's definitely in progress. I'm enjoying learning new things, meeting new people (online), and expressing my thoughts and opinions via the written word. I've been blessed with over nine years of homeschooling experience and nearly *cough, cough* years of organizational experience. I love to pass on my knowledge and to help others on their own journeys.