Thank you, women of Thirty Voices, for creating an environment where I feel comfortable becoming a blogger. For years I held out – holding my most overworked drafts as precious commodities, waiting for the day when they’d be polished enough to be printed and slipped into manila envelopes destined for the likes of ZYZZYVA and The Iowa Review – not that I’ve ever read these magazines. I guess the unspoken rule I had for myself was that I shouldn’t give my ideas away when they might eventually be sold. The ironic thing about that is that I’ve never made money as a writer. I never even submitted any work to a paid publication. Oh, I hold fantasies of collecting enough rejection slips to decoupage a large coffee table, but I’ve never acted on them.

Today, all of that changes. Today – as I really, officially and unavoidably enter my late 30s (I’ll be 38 in about 38 days) – I realize that letting my paragraphs float out into the ether is probably the best way to write abundantly that I’ll ever encounter. Rather than holding on to any witty statement I manage to eek out onto a page with clenched fists, I’m going to let it all go. Open hands – typing hands – happy hands.

I’m Ruth in Los Angeles, sitting on the borders of Brentwood and Santa Monica, and I’m pleased to be among the women of Thirty Voices.

Ruth, 37, Los Angeles, USA