From Childhood Tales to Family Histories

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure who gave me my first journal, but I don’t remember ever being without one.

When I was in second grade, I decided to write a book—Billy and his Horse. My father, bless his heart, published the book for me by printing multiple copies on his dot matrix computer paper. Once everything was printed, yours truly trimmed the edges, staple-bound each one and we shared them with the world. And by the world I mean friends and family who were gracious enough to take them. The illustrations were also mine, although my talent was better suited for writing.

As an English major in college, it seems the majority of my classes were consumed with reading, analyzing, writing and re-writing. At that time, Gettysburg College didn’t have a creative writing major, so I didn’t learn what it would mean to pursue a career as a writer until much later. Instead, I focused my writing work on how it might be applicable as a communicator, and that’s how I found myself in the world of marketing and public relations.

The early days of my career were fast and furious, challenging and exciting all at once. I felt fortunate to find myself in a thriving advertising agency with incredibly creative and strategic thinkers around every corner. In that setting, I still wasn’t the “writer.” No, that title was reserved for the copywriter who would collaborate with an art director and craft ads that would positively impact the client’s bottom line. As the self-identified “communicator,” I was the account manager type who served as a liaison between the client and the creative team.

Many years later, following the encouragement from close friends in academia who research and write as part of their careers, I began to think, “Why not me?” Why not write that book that has always been an idea in the back of my mind?

I had so many questions, including the most important one: “Where do I begin?” Since the book is about my grandmother, who I never knew, and there are a handful of people around who did know her, I started with one of those people—good ol’ Dad, who published my first book so many years ago. That is how the first chapter begins. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going through the blog.

My work as a marketing communications consultant has also afforded me the wonderful opportunity to weave my passion for writing into my day job. Clients will ask me to write articles for them to pitch to new outlets or publications. They are also shared on their websites, blogs and social media accounts. Some clients have asked me to help write and edit publications that are part of their life’s work, while others look to me to write appeal letters to help them reach their fundraising goals.

In every case, I get to tell a story. In the process, I always learn something new. I’m so grateful that I get to do this work for great people and wonderful organizations, and that I get to share stories that help us all learn and grow.

—Lauren Mossotti-Kline, January 2023