Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My A to Your Q: On Being a Magazine Writer

Q: Did you always know you wanted to write for a magazine? ~Sugarlens

A: Not at all. I always loved writing and I'd get compliments for it, but I never thought I'd actually write for a living. Even when I created my own magazine on Windows 3.1 and printed out copies for my friends in high school, I did it for fun not because I was serious about persuing that career. Besides, I wasn't sure I could make much money out of it.

In comes Brooklyn Technical H.S. and its requirement that all juniors must select a major for the last two years. I also enjoyed architecture, so I chose it. And when it was time to choose college majors I stuck with it. In fact, I stuck with it long after I hated design class and anything to do with the subject. By that point, I was a year away from graduating and fretting over my uncertain future. I couldn't start over. And I knew any type of architecture job would make me miserable.

I remember sitting on a cliff, overlooking the Hudson River and writing in my journal asking the powers that be to please give me a sign of what I was supposed to do. Graduation was now around the corner and I didn't know where I'd go from there.

In comes an opportunity to write for the campus paper along with pioneering a residence hall newsletter, which then caught on in every other hall on campus. Soon enough, I found myself dedicating more time to the newsletter and its growth than my own architecture projects. (Believe me, it showed.)

The stars aligned, it all clicked. I took a journalism class. I only applied to two grad schools and by some miracle was accepted into my first choice: the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

The rest has been history in the making.

Image: realsimple.com


  1. Thanks for answering my question! :) It's rare to love what you do and it seems like you really do.

  2. That is a great story. It seems like everything lined up perfectly to lead your path! So glad you found what really makes you happy instead of settling!

  3. Glad you've found what makes you happy! I'm still looking for my sign!

  4. That is awesome. My husband was just about to major in Economics when he switched his major. I ended up being his sugar momma for a few years after I graduated, since he took a longer route.

  5. Hmmm. Maybe it's time I went to sit on that cliff overlooking the Hudson and ask for a sign in my life. 40 yrs old and I ~still~ have no clue what I want to do with my life.

  6. ah, i always love stories like this. it reminds me of the saying that when you really want something, the universe will align you help you achieve it. cheers to you for following your heart!

  7. When I found out there was a sugarlens inspred toasty, I had to come and read it - its a meeting place for two lovely women.

    Serendipity - The occassional ometime when life just takes an odd turn - and you find yourself going the right way. :)

    Can I ask a follow-on question? What was your most favorite story you either wrote or editted for the magazine?

    And how's the new place? You liking it?

  8. Ugh. Its cold and my fingers don't work. ometime - sometime, and editted looks like it needs to an 'edit' too.

  9. Hey girl! Stop by to pick up your One Lovely Blog Award!

  10. It's so great that you found what you love!

    I'm still working on that.

  11. And the rest is history....Oh, I needed that "powers that be" inspiration myself. Or at the very least, a friend like you who lived it too, and could have helpd me re-direct. I needed redirecting. Ah well. Live, learn, die. It's a cycle.


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