A Year Ago, This Month, My Author Journey Began

A year ago this month, I released my first book, Please Write: Finding Joy and Meaning in the Soulful Art of Handwritten Letters. Prior to this, I spent my life as a public servant in the environmental field, writing mostly technical reports or information about environmental topics for the public. When I left the field, I decided to try to discover more about myself by dabbling in the arts for the first time.

First, I took some art lessons and discovered that I could, in fact, draw something more than stick figures. I also took a memoir writing class with 5 other adults and found that I adored their life stories. I got back to writing many more cards and personal letters, something I used to do a lot more of when I was young. Then, my friend convinced me to take some afternoon writing classes to see if I could create something worthwhile. So, I started writing and have not looked back. I became hooked!

After about 18 months of writing, and then many more months of revision, I produced my first book on a topic I love– handwritten letters. I found that it was a topic much more interesting, complex, and joyful than I first imagined. As someone who loves research, collecting, and synthesizing information, this topic drew me in and held my attention. It was a joy to write this book.

After it was released, Please Write took me on quite an interesting journey. I have had experiences I would not trade for anything, including:

1. Learning an entirely new profession after a full career in another field.

2. Doing so many things I could never have imagined myself doing 5 years ago.

3. Meeting the most delightful people one could imagine (such as other authors, readers, letter enthusiasts, and many others).

4. Seeing that my book was well-received by professionals in the field, and that it received several awards – 3 Silver Medals, and Finalist Awards in 2 additional book award contests.

5. Most importantly, receiving the most wonderful and delightful mail from people who read and enjoyed my book. These letters are treasures to me and make all the effort worthwhile.

So, what’s coming up in the year ahead? I look forward to the next new adventures. Not only will I be continuing to sell my book at book and other festivals, I will be teaching letter workshops, doing readings and book signings, and who knows what else! Most exciting of all, I am working on my first novel, a story of loss, grieving, healing, and redemption, set in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin (an area dear to my heart). Please follow me on my journey!  If you haven’t yet read, Please Write, I would be honored if you would check it out. Many people have told me it inspired them to put pen to paper for the first time in many years, and to write to someone important in their lives. You can, too. Have fun and please do let me know how it goes.