This week, meet writer Vonda S from Herndon, VA! Check out our blog every Wednesday for a new interview with our super talented and very interesting WriterAccess writers. For more featured writers, visit our Writer Wednesday category.
How did you get interested in writing as a career?
I taught myself to read at 3½. When my mom, a teacher, took me to the public library when I was 4, I asked her, “Who made all those books?” She explained me what a writer was. When I was a bit older, she told me what an editor does. So from a very young age, I wanted to be a writer and an editor and have done both since age 16.
What prompted you to pursue your Master’s degree in writing, and how do you think it’s helped you?
One option of the journalism program at Northwestern University is to stay for a fifth academic year and earn a master’s degree. I intended to do that while my husband-to-be worked on a Ph.D. However, he didn’t get the financial package he needed to stay at Northwestern, so we ended up at the University of Wisconsin-Madison right after we got married. My master’s got sidetracked, since I wasn’t a resident and couldn’t afford out-of-state tuition. When I saw the Seton Hill master’s program, it intrigued me because it required writing fiction, which I had never done. I became a more disciplined writer and far better at editing my own work.
Tell us how you juggle freelance writing with your animal rescue!
That’s the $64 million question. What’s the answer worth to you?! The rescue is in our home and is a 24/7 proposition—no sleeping past 5 a.m., no days off and no helpers. And there are lots of emergencies. I cope with this in two ways. The more important is using the training I had as a journalist to write in snippets, sometimes 10 minutes at a sitting. The other is to accept less work than I think I can complete in a given week.
Who are a few of your favorite writers?
I don’t have favorite non-fiction writers. Although I prefer writing non-fiction to fiction, I do read a lot of the latter. I particularly enjoy authors of Amish books, among them Beverly Lewis, Cindy Woodsmall and Wanda Brunstetter.
Do you have any words of wisdom to share with the writing community?
Whenever you feel particularly discouraged, remember that you’re actually getting paid to do something you love. If you don’t love doing it, consider looking for another career.
Vonda S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.