For anyone wondering where I’ve been, it’s been a long journey full of heart, language, and curiosity.
As a kid, I was geeky but likable. I was a reader, writer, daydreamer, and observer of life. No one wanted me on their kickball teams, but I was highly sought after for spelling bees!
In the 80s and 90s, I held miscellaneous real-world odd jobs. But I kept coming back to written words:
- A column in the local newspaper for senior citizens, helping the older population of our youth-oriented city feel heard, respected, and well-served through my articles about everything from tax services to farmers’ markets.
- An MS degree in technical communications, including an APA-style master’s research thesis to study readers’ uses of publications, in other words, to walk in their shoes.
- Roles as proofreader, designer, and author contact for a pharmaceutical textbook publisher, requiring an intuitive sense for language and attunement with authors.
Then the internet came along, and opened up a world.
In ’94, I was in my mid-30s, and for whatever reason, I was still a misfit in the corporate world. I could write, I could edit, and I could even do post-graduate research. But I still felt misunderstood, stupid, and outside of life. I’d hit a brick wall and felt like a failure.
Enter the internet, and suddenly, it didn’t matter who I was, how mousy I felt, or what kind of hair day I was having. If I could write and type, I could connect with others across the world. I could explore my own offbeat interests in depth and learn and share with others. At that time, it was all about words. I felt competent there.
This wasn’t anything like what I’d studied in graduate school or the new print technologies I’d recently learned. This was a whole new way to communicate.
It felt significant, and I wanted to be part of it. I taught myself HTML, with no idea where it would take me, and eager to jump in anyway.
And thus began my new career in web design and maintenance.
But it didn’t stop there.
Alongside my interest in the internet, I also discovered an interest in psychology, mythology, culture—a curiosity sparked by the writings of Joseph Campbell and Isabel Briggs Myers, both influenced by C.G. Jung.
I jumped into that, too. I spent time in the library reading books and at Powell’s buying up used books. (I eventually took the MBTI qualifying course and passed the test through CAPT.org, but that was later.)
So, mentored by a psychological professional and extravert, I created and led an internet chat group for introverts,* possibly the first of its kind. Each week, across the world, we introverts connected. We spoke up from our own private keyboards, and we found our own voices, our own way.
I gained my own sense of confidence here, too. I loved leading these conversations, thinking up topical questions to ponder, holding space for others to speak from their hearts. I witnessed the power of the internet bringing out the best in all of us.
From there, my interest in personal growth and support naturally drew me to the coaching world—another new field on the world stage. Coaching and internet worked perfectly together. Coaches and therapists became my best web design clients.
I suddenly realized I was riding on the edge of something big and this is where I belonged.
It would be where I stayed and grew for almost 20 years.
A return home
After years of web techie work, I’d drifted off-course. Interesting as it was, my work had become more technically focused, farther from the communication focus that first drew me there. My clients were amazing. But the work itself wasn’t where my heart was.
At the heart of it, I’m a writer and an editor. I seek human connection through words.
So here I am, back where I started—back home as an editor and lover of words—in a world of both print and internet that is constantly changing.
I was lucky. I joined the internet in a time of discovery, at just the right time. Today, the internet can be a much darker place.
And I’m seeing the world anew. I know the value of truth, communication, and clear individual voice in a cacophony of other voices. When the right elements come together, it’s like a symphony, and it can make a difference in the world.
So here I am now, helping bright, insightful people—the kinds of people I love to work with—making sure their brilliance and insight have the finishing touches to connect with their readers, online or in print.
If you’re a coach, psychologist, sociologist, or otherwise have a blog or book in you with insight about being human, I would love to work with you as your editor to bring your insights to the world, in your best voice.
Go here for details and credentials.
Go here to ask a question or schedule an appointment to talk about how we can work together.
* Note: My introvert group met in 1994-1995, before Dr. Elaine Aron’s book titled The Highly Sensitive Person was first published. My discovery of the High Sensitivity trait had a wonderful impact on my life, too. But it isn’t the same thing, and another story for another day.