April 27, 2012

It's 1980 and I tiptoe into my mother's office, a large room in the back of our house that she calls the "Magic Room." She doesn't let us play in there much. I hear the click-clack-clickety-clack of her typewriter. My mother is a writer.

It's 1993 and I come home from high school. My mother greets me in the kitchen and asks me how my day was. I grumble. She retreats back to her home office, filled with a printer, fax machine and a new computer. She is working on one of the 80 books that she will have published by her 60th birthday.

I never knew what fate would have in store for me. My whole life I watched my mom create an amazing career as a writer, but I wasn't sure that I ever had the confidence to imagine that I, too, could achieve similar success.

It's 2012 and I sit in my home office, listening to the click-clack-click-clack of my keyboard. I hear birds chirping, dogs barking and children shouting outside. I smell the scent of magnolias in the air on a spring day in Georgia. At this time, my name is only on 1 book, not 80, but I love what I do. Here in my home office, I love being a writer.

I love writing about the things I write about. Every day I work on my craft, living my dream of being a professional writer. I am thankful that I have this chance to write about the things that I am most passionate about: pregnancy, infertility, and sexual health. Being a writer means going on lunchtime walks watching the seasons change, taking stretch breaks on my yoga mat, and working all alone. For an introvert like me, this is a dream come true.

If you want to become a writer, it may not be an easy road, but it is possible. You may have to kiss the security and benefits of a steady paycheck goodbye for a while. As you become a freelancer, you may even want to keep your day job until you start to make it big in the writing world. Here are more tips to help you get started:

  • Search the web for freelance writing jobs and apply for everything you see. Have writing samples ready to send out.
  • Check the website Media Bistro for job listings or go ahead and email a pitch to your favorite publications. Dream big! Why not?
  • Build a writing portfolio of the types of work you'd like to do. Edit them and make them perfect. Always, always spell check!
  • Perfect your resume, highlighting any writing experience you have. Have drafts of cover letters ready to send out, and customize them for each job you seek.
  • Meet other writers for coffee and attend conferences and workshops in your town. Network! Find out how other writers got to be where they are.

I never knew that I would be a writer. But I really wanted to make good money working from home, with flexible hours, doing something that I was really passionate about. My passion is pregnancy and childbirth. Writing is the way that I make my passions profitable.

Like my mother, I am there for my children when they come home from school. I have a "magic room" filled with great technology and computers. Yes, it can be difficult to work from home with my children screaming and playing in the room next to me. Many days I envy my husband as he leaves the house all day and goes to an office. But it is so worth it and I wouldn't change a thing. I love this. I love being a writer.

Britt Berg

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