Rachel Simon

Rachel Simon

Author/Speaker

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I started writing at the age of 7. My father encouraged me, and even bought me my own typewriter.
A classmate told me, "You're a good writer, but you don't want to be good; you want to be great."
My first few books did fine but they didn't break the sound barrier, so I had to take odd jobs.
My first job was at a law firm. I didn't belong. I preferred the secretaries & mailroom employees.
A friend noticed that I "saw" people that most others overlooked.
I knew that was something I'd learned growing up with my sister, who has an intellectual disability.
I was inspired to write a book about my relationship with my sister; it became a bestseller.
I'd never thought of speaking as part of my career path, but it fell into my lap and now I love it.
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Solebury School
Bachelor
Anthropology
Bryn Mawr College
Graduate
Creative Writing
Sarah Lawrence College

Career

Author/Speaker

I write books that feature characters with disabilities and I give talks about disability/diversity.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Writing
Art
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

It depends on the day - most days, I'll get up, have breakfast, and start writing. I always work standing up, using my ironing board as a desk. When I'm writing, I like to work in quiet places, and I try to work at home, where I can drink as much tea as I want. Other days, when I'm on the road for speaking engagements, a "perfect day" means that everything goes over smoothly...no flies in the ointment.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Take however long you need to learn how to communicate in a way that captivates readers. To do this, you'll need patience and passion, so you keep at it even when the going gets rough. You'll also need to read other writers who've excelled at the kind of writing that interests you. Get rid of your ego too; writing is never about the author, but the quality of the work. Finally, learn to say no to distractions that keep you from your desk. You will disappoint friends, but it'll be worth it.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Think about getting a degree in something other than writing or English. I think my degree in anthropology was more valuable than my MFA for a number of reasons. Anthropology educated me on different ways of thinking, encouraged me to value openmindedness, and taught me how to see the world through the eyes of people unlike myself. In addition, choose your friends carefully. Popular friends aren't as important as interesting ones. Be willing to be a weirdo, and to hang out with other weirdos.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Teachers:

"You need to edit this. This story could probably be better."

Challenges I Overcame

Family Issues
Learning Issues