I love to read. I have since I was a little kid. One of my earliest memories is going to the library with my older siblings and checking out my first books. The librarian leaned over the high counter and said, “You’re too young. You can’t check out a book unless you can write your name.” To her amazement, I printed out my name. I was three or four years old. (This was back in the day before three-year-olds were teaching advanced calculus at Harvard.) She issued a library card and I was hooked.
I read everything. I read my sister’s teen magazines (big crush on Paul McCartney at age 5 and yeah, still), just about every book in the children’s library in town, my aunt’s women’s magazines (“21 Tricks for Delicious Leftovers!” ah… NO).
And I wrote. Poems and short stories, little funny notes, lists (I am an obsessive list maker), song parodies, journal entries. From an early age I wanted to be a writer.
YOU CAN’T MAKE MONEY AS A WRITER.”
Well, no. Of course you can’t. Stupid of me to even think so. Stupid of me to dream such a childish, silly dream.
So.. what do you do with an English degree?
I had a cable TV sales and installation company.
I wrote the sales scripts, ad copy, and training materials.
I had a word processing company.
I typed, proofed, and edited other people’s words.
I worked as a purser on cruise ships.
I had a blast!
I did stand up comedy.
I wrote all my own material and learned how great it feels to really connect with an audience.
I invested in real estate.
Through the boom and the bust and I’m still standing!
During that time, my friend Chris came to me and said, “You know how to write. Can you help me put together this training manual for real estate?”
Then a different friend heard about it and referred me to another real estate speaker. I helped her write her course.
My name got passed from speaker to speaker. Chris Krimitsos, my original client, dubbed me “the gurus’ secret weapon.” He asked me to speak with him in a one-day seminar. Our topic: Copywriting. During the day, this happened:
(Yes, she does look like Cameron Diaz and yes, Chris was smart enough to court and marry her. They just had their first baby, a beautiful little girl.)
I’ve been helping people tell their stories ever since.
In the morning, I get up, have my coffee on my lanai overlooking a canal. I watch ducks and herons and ibis. I see mullet skip across the water then land SMACK! flat on the surface. Occasionally there is a swirl of a tarpon or a dolphin lazily feeding.
Then I spend my day coaching clients or writing. I waste too much time on Facebook. I work out. (Believe it or not, there’s a six-pack under this fat!) I have wine and long talks with friends.
As it turns out, I can make a living as a writer. I help people tell their stories and create even more writers. All of them putting out words – beautiful words – changing the world one person at a time.
I love words.
I love the ways they can be put together. To have a certain rhythm or paint a picture or make people physically feel something a writer has only imagined.
Most of all, I love that words can convey information that can help people. They can learn new things. They can understand concepts. Spread ideas. The sheer power of words can change the direction of people’s lives.