Traditional Publishing

Building a writing life – Sunday October 1, 2023

For the past 45 years, I have written almost every day. I make my living as a fulltime freelance writer, which I‘ve wanted to do since seventh grade, when I wrote my first very short book titled "The Secret of the Lost Inca Mines." What could be greater than making up stories and getting paid for them, I thought. Almost everything I’ve written for the past 40 years has been published.

I’ve written features, interviews, anecdotes, poetry, short stories, even a play, for magazines as Toy Farmer, Reader’s Digest, Houseboat, Arizona Highways, Saturday Evening Post, Sr. Perspective, and 240 others.

But my most potent joy has emanated from writing essays. They require me to think, often deeply, to dig the ore of words from the rock, and tumble them in order onto the paper to make the piece work. Or sometimes dig out diamonds of exactly the right words that add beauty, and make the sentences sing.

It’s satisfying to discover that many people like what I write, or how I write it. But that was not always so. My career began inauspiciously. In 1977 I resigned from teaching English to be a writer. Though I had never sold a single piece of writing, I was sure I knew enough and was good enough now that I could make my living at writing.

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