Received this question in my e-mail, via LinkedIn. Here’s the question and my answer:
Hope all is well.
I noticed on your profile that you have been a journalist for some time now. I am curious to know how you got into it? Your writing style is quite different to other journalists I have come across.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Shan White, owner
Women’s Peak Performance Coaching
“Create The Life You See, When You Close Your Eyes and Dream”
Good to hear from you.
I transferred into journalism class in 9th grade, as suggested by my teacher, Mr. Martinez, because he thought I was too advanced for regular English class. From there, I worked on the middle school and high school newspapers, eventually becoming editor-in-chief of The Gladitorial by senior year.
At the age of 17, I was a fledgling reporter for the Colorado Springs Sun. It was my first paid position as a writer, earning me $20 per published article. My editor was Mary Mashburn. Unfortunately, that newspaper is defunct. I still have clips, though!
After graduating high school in the top 10% of my class, I was awarded five scholarships to Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, where I joined the Haymaker newspaper staff for a while. While there, I majored in Mass Communication & Psychology.
In 1985, I took time off from college for marriage and children. Eventually, I went back to college and attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. I majored in Applied Communication & Philosophy, with an emphasis on East-West religions. I also completed an independent study of death & dying in pagan societies.
Over the years, I continued to freelance and published several e-zines, including Scribe & Quill, which I edited and published for 15 years. I also published other e-zines, including Inscriptions, Scribes of the Goddess, and Pen & Pentacle.
In 1991, I had my first paid magazine article published in Housewife-Writers’ Forum. I continued to freelance part-time until I was able to leave my municipal government job in 1997 to become a full-time freelance writer. Since then, I’ve had hundreds of pieces published, both short and long, in print magazines as well as online publications.
So, yes, I’ve been a professional scribe for 18 years now, but I wrote my first story in the 6th grade. My teacher told me I wrote well and that I should become a writer. I took her advice ;-). As of now, I’ve written more non-fiction/journalistic pieces than anything else, by far.
Long explanation, but this is what my career has been like over the years. It’s how I got from there to where I am now. An unconventional route, for sure!
While it’s true my writing style isn’t like many others, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not sure if I could change it now! *grin*
Thanks for asking this question! It was fun to give it some thought and answer it.
How are you doing?
Have a great weekend!