Hi Hanna, I love writing. I’ve always loved reading and writing for as long as I can remember. As time went on I began to feel as if the internet were broken as far as writing is concerned. The media is sinking, popularity appears to be based on listicles, how-to articles and quick fixes, fiction seems to be so far stuffed down underneath all the crap you have to really dig for it.

I’m a published writer and my goal for 2018 was to quit writing for the media. The last article I sold was published on Christmas Eve. I no longer feel morally okay with what is expected of me to write, such as click bait titles and spinning the truth to gain reads.

When I stepped back and looked at it I realized the most valuable aspect of storytelling is slowly disappearing, human connection. That’s when I decided to start writing more personal narrative. I desperately want to create that connection with others. I want my experiences to resonate with readers. The truth is we all go through shit, we’re all learning along the way.

At first I wasn’t sure what to write. I wasn’t so focused on what I thought people would want to read. There’s story ideas, amazing and creative ideas everywhere I look and in everything I do. I was more concerned with who’s privacy I would violate when I wrote stories of my experiences.

Then I read Bird by Bird, written by Anne Lamott. She wrote a quote that really stuck with me. “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them they should’ve behaved better.”

For me it wasn’t really about how others behaved, good or bad. It was writing about my experiences from my perspective. If you read some of my stories you’ll see I write about my life experiences even if the story should involve other people the focus remains on me. I write openly and honestly. I believe there is a stigma that vulnerability makes us weak. I disagree. It’s one of the most valuable strengths we can have.

I’m often asked how I gained such a large following and the answer is I’m not really sure. I just wrote, and people read. It’s not just about writing, though. Engagement with readers is a large part of being a writer. I learn from my readers what direction I should go in. They guide me.

Here are two of my most recent favorite stories if you’d like to read them. It may help you understand want I mean when I say I write about my experience from my perspective.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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