My parents say I wrote a play when I was 6--all I remember is that writing was fun and not very hard. Which turned out to be a good thing. I did well in school till 7th grade, when my struggles with reading caught up with me and math really kicked my butt. Writing was the only place I did well (besides French class for some reason) so I became the only kid who looked forward to long papers and short-answer and essay tests. I know, it’s weird. It was also in 7th grade that I predicted journalism would be my career. I wrote for the local paper and my high school paper, and won an award for an editorial I wrote about student apathy.
I went to college thinking I’d major in English, but ended up switching to the Journalism School. For the first time since 5th grade, school wasn’t killing me. I was pushed plenty hard, but in a good way, and I loved it. Every job I’ve had since college has been writing and working with writers—for companies, newspapers and magazines, and, of course, websites. I even started a writing business, called The Word Factory. I still can’t quite believe that I make a living doing something I like so much. I know I’m very lucky.
Along the way, I wrote a couple of reference books: The Real Life Guide to Life After College and The Real Life Guide to Starting Your Career. I wrote a short story once that was published in an anthology, but fiction writing is too hard for me. I’ll stick with nonfiction and opinion writing, thank you very much.
Writing isn’t easy. I know many people who struggle with it like I struggle with reading—and that stinks. I also know that writing doesn’t have to be so hard. But usually nobody tells you how to do make it easier. That’s why I like this book. It’s like the secret keys to the castle. Even the tiniest strategy or tip can make writing easier for you. As you build confidence, and learn more techniques, your writing will get better and better. That’s important because everybody writes all the time—even if it’s just a note to a co-worker or one of those crazy family update holiday letters. Being a good writer is helpful even if you’re not going to be a writer for your job.
Learn more about my professional life at my company page (www.thewordfactory.com) or on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/margot-lester).
P.S. True story: I’m married to Mr. Peha. Before we even met in person, we met through email. His writing was so good, I knew I had to meet him. And here we are, married and writing books together! Being a good writer has even more benefits than you may have thought.