I have exactly the sort of background you would expect any good writer to have, which is to say that I floundered around in a variety of careers before realizing that mostly, I’m a pretty fast typist.
Oh, I kid. Mostly.
Long ago and far away, I attended Syracuse University’s Theater Department with big plans to become the world’s next Meryl Streep. Unfortunately I quickly discovered that I lacked the desire to sleep my way to the top, and sought out an alternate career. I picked up a second major in psychology and managed to follow that through to grad school at Stanford, where I segued into Human-Computer Interaction during the dot-com boom.
With the ink on my Masters degree still wet, I went to work for IBM. This led to years spent in the software design industry. After slogging through a multitude of unreadable technical manuals, I started doing some technical writing in addition to usability testing and GUI design.
By the time I took my “mommy track” hiatus from engineering, I’d figured out that I really just wanted to focus on writing. But with two kids less than two years apart, I was mostly too tired to do anything about it.
Fast forward a few years, and you’ll find me wanting to return to the work force but looking for something more flexible and more fulfilling than engineering. I took a flexible job that was anything but fulfilling, then a fulfilling job that wasn’t flexible. Finally I got fed up enough to give the freelancing thing a shot, and what do you know—it turns out that I’m my favorite boss. Now I love what I do, my family appreciates having me around (albeit often with my nose in my computer), and people pay me to do what I’ve always done, anyway: Write.