Ways I Earned Money Writing (and Not)

Mike's post yesterday inspired me to share my assortment of odd jobs with you today.

I love reading those short one-paragraph author biographies. Especially the ones where an author was a strawberry picker, circus acrobat, and anaconda trainer.  Ok - I made that up, but an author with experience like that has to be able to tell an fascinating story, right?

My resume is not nearly so exotic.  My first paying job, when I was in 4th grade, was walking the neighbor girl to the bus stop.  For $5 a week, I had to endure a brutal kindergartner who regularly knocked me over and made me eat grass.

Later I babysat (though the kid who stripped naked and burned the fur off the family cat ended my short career), tutored math (this makes me laugh now), and wrote articles for the teen page of the Dayton Daily News.

In college I worked in catering, graded German papers, was a Sandwich Artist at Subway, and taught English to a Japanese preteen who was in love with Leonardo DiCaprio (all our conversational lessons revolved around him).

When I worked at a call center for an office supply company, I handled the Spanish speaking customers (who invariably wanted balloons printed with Jesus te ama! on them). To get away from the phones, I volunteered to write the company newsletter (writing!).

My first internship in advertising in Germany led to my copywriting gig, which led to my freelance writing/editing/translating business.

And now I'm writing novels and picture books. Hopefully when I do school visits one day, no kindergartners will tackle me and make me eat grass.


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