When I was little and people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always the same: a writer and illustrator.
I dropped the illustrator part once I got to third grade and realized that my art skills weren’t good enough to get me into the advanced art classes, but I never faltered on my desire to be a writer when I grew up.
I wrote a Thanksgiving play in fourth grade for my family to perform. I had a TV in my room, but rather than watching TV after I finished my homework, I wrote short stories and read.
Once I got to high school, I took the minimum of math and science classes required by the fine state of New Jersey and instead bulked up on my English and foreign language classes. I took Spanish, French and Russian!
This whole foreign language thing confused my career path for a bit–did I want to be a linguist? A diplomat? Something else I could do with my foreign language skills? I looked for colleges that had strong language programs, but I ultimately chose American for its Foreign Language and Communication Media program, which basically amounted to a major in print journalism and a minor in Spanish. From the first journalism class I took with the brilliant Jane Hall, I knew I wanted to pursue writing as a career when I grew up.
I’d wanted to work for Vogue growing up, but going to American, in the heart of our nation’s capital, I fell into writing about politics and fell head over heels for it. I stayed in D.C. for three years after I graduated, and I worked for Campaigns & Elections magazine, covering the business of, well, campaigns and elections. I was writing about important developments in the political industry for political insiders–and I loved it.
From a media dinner way back when.
In early 2008, I was depressed and ready to change my life. I left my job and moved to New Jersey and moved in with my parents for three months while I got my feet back on the ground. I’d always wanted to work for magazines, and save for a few exceptions, there’s no other place to do that than NYC, home to all the major publishing houses.
I sent my resume to any opening I could find at Hearst, Conde Nast, Meredith, you name it. A friend from D.C. set me up for a coffee with a friend of his from New York magazine, a place I would have died to work for–until this editor told me I’d be qualified for an internship.
Wait, what? I was 25 years old, and I’d written cover and feature stories for a national magazine. I’d edited a network of websites in the early primary states. (R.I.P., C&E State Network.) I had three years of solid magazine experience and a few years of good internships.
Right. At a trade magazine, he told me.
It was then that I realized that my dreams of working for a sexy, glossy magazine, a magazine that I’d find on a newsstand, might have to be edited, just a bit.
I took a job at a legal magazine, covering intellectual property law. I covered a lot of copyright issues, which, of course, involve media, and I was genuinely interested in this job–until I got laid off.
Within two weeks, I was working for another magazine at the company, covering legal technology. I was significantly less interested in this, and this is also when I decided to start to change my life.
Thumbs up for life changes.
I started losing weight, and I started this blog.
I knew when I started a blog, I wanted to do it right. I wanted to put my all into it. I’d started several blogs before this one, but my heart wasn’t in it, and I never stuck with them, but now I know that’s because I just didn’t find something that ignited a passion inside of me like health and fitness have.
I love writing for you guys, but here is another 2012 resolution of mine: to write more, and for a larger audience.
My job is tremendously fulfilling, and I love it, but I also miss being published. I’ve written for Glamour.com, WomansDay.com, and LearnVest.com, (in addition to serving on staff for Campaigns & Elections, IP Law & Business and Law Technology News, where I wrote quite a lot) and I want to add to that list in 2012. I want to continue to bring that passion for health, fitness, nutrition and running to more people.
One more thing. 2012 is also the year I finish my book proposal.