A Personal Blog Leads to Professional Opportunities By Virginia Williams

Sometimes writing success comes when–and where– you least expect it. Seven years ago my second child was stillborn at full-term, in a time when my writing career was focused on brick-and-mortar opportunities. With a three-year-old, I’d had little time for exploring career options online, but after my son died my writing career dried up and I had time to explore the online world. I slowly began to discover websites with resources for parents like me and, eventually, whole blogging communities helping parents of stillborn children.

I decided to start writing about my son two years after his death, thinking my words wouldn’t go much further than a handful of readers. What started as a personal mission for me to express my grief and offer help to other families has led to more than I ever expected. I was approached by an editor who read my blog and asked me to contribute a chapter to an anthology on stillbirth, They Were Still Born: Personal Stories About Stillbirth, published by Rowman & Littlefield in November 2010. I’ve since written a full-length memoir manuscript of surviving my son’s death, currently making the rounds with agents, and written an e-book for parents who have just lost a baby to stillbirth.

Because of my blog, I’ve been able to network with organizations within the stillbirth community via social networking. This has led to further opportunities to write for online networks and magazines dedicated to helping other parents.

I’ve also been interviewed for PregnancyToday.com on how blogging has helped me from Ben’s death, and have been able to help many other people who are devastated by stillbirth. Through writing blog posts and connecting with people who are as passionate as I am about helping grieving families, I’m growing my career–not how I planned, but being able to combine my personal knowledge with my professional life has created some of my best, most satisfying work.

Virginia Williams is a freelance writer and editor who has worked in PR, publishing, and for small international corporations. Her website is found at http://www.virginialwilliams.com/ and her blog is at http://www.landofbrokenhearts.blogspot.com.

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