Many people have asked me in the past few months how I got started on this writing journey. I enjoy telling the story, because it was just as surprising to me as to anyone else. And so many wonderful people have reached out to help me, that I can’t help being incredibly grateful. One of the first was Jonathan Lewis at Home School Enrichment.
Eight years ago this past week, I met Jonathan Lewis for the first time over the magical interwebs. A friend at church had sent me a link to Home School Enrichment‘s free online digital issues, and I read with great interest Jonathan’s editorials and as well as the other helpful articles. A few weeks later, I found in Jonathan’s newsletter that HSE was looking for a new Early Learning columnist. Without thinking of the consequences, I applied. It was my first query letter of any kind, and I wrote it without any thought and hit “send” immediately then walked away.
Five minutes later, it hit me what I had just done. Panic descended on me as I tried in vain to “unsend” the email. Hysterically, I emailed my best friend “WHAT DID I JUST DO?!” And then curiosity took over: what would he think of my application? I commenced hitting “refresh” on the inbox every 5 minutes, looking for a response.
I waited, refreshed, paced, refreshed, messaged my friend, refreshed, fretted, refreshed, loathed myself and every sentence I had ever written, refreshed, snapped at my husband not to ask me again if I had heard back from the magazine, refreshed . . . for days. It was agony.
Then I heard back from Jonathan that he was considering my writing, we chatted via email for a few days about homeschooling, family, and beliefs, then suddenly I had a column in a national magazine. I was completely shocked and awed.
Over the next several years, I learned so much from Jonathan Lewis, from copy editor Rachel Starr Thomson, and from the many incredible writers that I now call my friends: Israel Wayne, Amy Puetz Fox, Cindy Puhek, and many, many more. They taught me about writing, editing, and publishing. They challenged my thinking on homeschooling, family life, and conservatism. They introduced me to cool people and new experiences. They called me a writer and made me believe God uses ordinary word scribblers to reach out in extraordinary ways.
My writing and online publishing journey took me away from Home School Enrichment for a short time, but I’m ever thankful God allowed me to come back to writing there. And when Jonathan asked me this past spring to consider working with him as Features Editor, I was just overcome with gratitude and excitement. Because furthering the message of the publication I love and trust is an honor, and helping other writers make the most of their unique voice is a distinct privilege.
This current September issue — on BOOKS! — is my first effort in this new role. I hope you’ll take a look for yourself and tell me what you think. And definitely let me know what burning questions you have about homeschooling or ways we can help you out. Because that’s what Home School Enrichment is all about: “enriching your life, your family, your homeschool.”
If you don’t yet subscribe, you can get a year’s worth right here.
So when anyone asks me how I got started writing, I tell them the story of an editor who took a chance on me, taught me how to do the work, and pointed me toward examples to follow. It’s the same way for most writers, I imagine.
It’s a great way to change the world, one relationship at a time. We can all be so giving.