Get Rich Slowly started as a place for J.D. to write about money. Over the past five years, it’s grown beyond that. It’s now a multi-author blog. This week, each of the authors will share a brief bio to give readers a little background. Enjoy!

April DykmanI’ve been writing for GRS for a little more than a year now, but I’ve been a writer since I was seven years old. In first grade, I won the John J. Thurman Award for a book about a very fat cat. In junior high and high school, I filled notebooks with prose, and in college I majored in feature writing. No matter how many times I dropped writing to pursue something else, I always came back to it.

When J.D. mentioned that he was looking for staff writers, I asked to audition. Getting this gig made me start to think that I just might be able to turn freelance writing into a full-time career. I worked hard to grow my business, and in July, I quit my job. Six months in, I have never been happier with my work life.

Momentum and balance
Becoming self-employed has been a dream of mine since, well, always. And this year, I made it happen. I’m no longer worried that I’ll be out of work and living in a van down by the river. It’s similar to when I finally traveled to Italy after years of talking about it, started to take control of my finances, or the first time I got some hang time in a forearm balance yoga pose — accomplishing things that scare me or seem impossible gives me the confidence and momentum to do even more.

Hanging out under Balanced RockLately, my life has been about finding balance. I’ve found balance in my finances, in health and fitness, and I’m working on finding the right work-life balance mix. A wide-open schedule means I can take piano lessons and back-to-back yoga classes during times I used to be in a cubicle — but I’ve also got work to do! For me, balance means taking full advantage of the freedom my work allows me while still accomplishing professional goals.

In the words of Joe Walsh, life’s been good to me so far. I’m enormously grateful for my family, friends, and that I get to wake up each morning and do what I want to do. Just for fun, here are some random facts about me:

  • I’m an Italophile. I have the weather forecast for Florence programmed on my phone, and once I asked my husband if we could change our last names to Corleone.
  • I love to cook. Italian is my specialty (Naturalmente!), but I love trying everything. Thai, Indian, Chinese, Spanish, Mexican, French, Russian — everything.
  • In college I had a strict schedule of martial arts three days per week and boxing four days per week, plus sparring on Saturdays.
  • I watch a lot of indie films, foreign films, and documentaries. Ballet documentaries are my guilty pleasure.
  • I’m at home outdoors, especially in the water. Kayaking, swimming, scuba — love it all.
  • I don’t have cable TV. On purpose. I had it in college for a year and found myself watching E! True Hollywood Story about 90120 (yes, the 90s TV show). That was rock bottom.

And a few links to things I’ve written on other sites:

  • Lunch Ideas for the Shrinking Lunch “Hour” — This is from a series I used to write on how to pack a better lunch. It seems only a handful of the articles are still live, but it was a column I enjoyed writing.
  • Untie Your Wings — I have a yoga blog that I neglect. This post is more on my thoughts about resisting time sucks.
  • “What Is,” Not “What If” (PDF) — This is a profile I wrote about a man who turned a near-fatal accident into an opportunity to turn his life around. It’s one of my favorite human-interest stories I’ve written.

I’m looking forward to so many good things in 2011 — hopefully it’ll include more travel, building our home, and finding ways to pay it forward that involve more than writing a check. I’d also like to thank the GRS readers for their continual support, kind e-mails, and the opportunity to write for such a great group of readers. (I swear that half the time I want to write about a subject just to see what GRS readers have to say about it.) Happy new year to each and every one of you!

J.D.’s note: April started at GRS as an active commenter, much like Tyler K. and Nicole and many of you other regulars. I was impressed with her comments and her writing style, and so was pleased to have her audition as a staff writer. Of all the staff writers, I think her style and journey most closely resembles my own (for good or ill). Some of her best articles here include: Should You Buy It? A Flowchart for Evaluating Potential Purchases, The Savvy Shopper’s Guide to the Farmers’ Market, How to Stop Buying Clothes You Never Wear, and Grow Your Savings by Paying in Full.

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