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Linda Bernstein

Manhattan, New York
Like many women of the Baby Boomer generation, my career path has and been non-traditional and zigzagged all over the employment map. How did I, a nice Jewish girl who wore white gloves to high holiday services in Worcester, MA end up as a social media consultant AND a writer? Here’s my story. So following a pretty fun three years at Doherty Memorial High (graduated in 1970), I attended Barnard College. There I flirted briefly with the idea of becoming an archaeologist or a musicologist, but, really, I always knew I’d settle on English. The writing concentrate happened because I like to write. Oh, and I got some poetry published in small magazines and won some writing prizes, but then . . . . . . I chose to enter the Ph.D. program in English Literature at Columbia. I began teaching English composition and literature courses first at Fairleigh Dickinson University (at a campus that no longer exists) and then at Columbia’s School of General Studies and Queens College (CUNY). Along the way I wrote a dissertation on the politics in Middle English Arthurian Romance, contributed to a grammar text book, wrote some other articles no one ever read on medieval literature, learned lots of dead languages, spoke at conferences, and all that academic stuff until . . . . . . I was pregnant with my second child and decided to drop it all. A friend suggested I should write for magazines, and that worked out well for quite a while. I published in national magazines and newspapers, and it was fun, though not terribly lucrative. Then one day, I complained to an editor-in-chief that the editor handling a piece I had written didn’t know what he was doing and . . . . . . that editor-in-chief hired me! I had three wonderful years at Sesame Street Parents and eventually moved to Scholastic Parent and Child as Executive Editor, where I stayed for a few more years until . . . . . . I was lured to the bridal magazine industry with promises of $$$$. Big. Mistake. I hated everything about it, especially the whole thrust of getting women to overspend on a single day of their life, as if the wedding is what marriage is about, because it’s not. Besides, my father had died recently, and I had brought my mom to New York City to live, and she wasn’t in good shape . . . . . . So I quit. And I went back to writing freelance, until one day I was contacted by a wonderful nonprofit that did research on women and employment, and I took a job that I totally loved. Then came the downturn and . . . . . . I was out of work. I tried to reinvent myself. Hard work. But I started to blog. (I’ve always been something of a geek and techie.) I started to take fiction workshops. Yeah, I’m still me, Linda, so I never tried to get anything published. Then I stumbled into a social media continuing education course at Columbia University taught by Sree Sreenivasan (who had actually written columns for me when I was at Sesame Street Parents) . . . . . . And then somehow I became an adjunct for Sree’s course and started doing social media consulting. I’m trying to write more for print journalism and blogs. I’ve met the most incredible people. It’s amazing and wonderful . . . . . . And I’m writing my novel too.