marla-r-miller

An award-winning journalist and features writer, I have nearly 20 years of professional writing experience. I also have a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University and a master’s degree in public administration and nonprofit leadership from Grand Valley State University. I enjoyed a rewarding career as a beat reporter at three community newspapers, covering education, arts and entertainment, religion, health and human services, hard news, general assignments, and a variety of features on community events and everyday people. You name it – I’ve probably written about it. I’m also a certified Total Control Wellness instructor and have a personal interest in women’s health and alternative and holistic health. I enjoy walking, hiking, yoga, generally being outdoors, and going to the beach; it’s why I tolerate the winters in West Michigan. The scenery is beautiful, but the summers are short and sweet. 

A savvy storyteller who has the finesse and flexibility to craft compelling copy on any topic, I’ve always enjoyed meeting people and telling interesting stories. I enjoy writing articles that inspire, enlighten and get people to think, helping to serve as a social change agent, and I feel my true gift to the world is writing. I have been writing since grade school, and when I’m in the zone, time stands still and it doesn’t feel like work. To quote Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

Like many former displaced journalists, I was left to mourn a career I loved while trying to reinvent myself. I thought I’d go get a fancy master’s degree (and accomplish a life goal, which I did) in 2010, only to end up back doing what makes me happy while I waited for my dream job to manifest. But now I think, “maybe it has.” As the saying goes: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That’s where the skills required of a good reporter – tenacity, perseverance, and empathy – have come in handy. Some careful soul searching and several career assessments also pointed me back in the same direction, and it’s nice to wake up without dread and feel like I’m on the right path. That’s not to say I won’t ever return to a full-time job, but it’s going to be the right one. 

Authentic and empathetic with a fun, witty sense of humor, I am a dedicated, diligent professional with a servant’s spirit and humanitarian heart. My compassion for people and passion for righting social wrongs kept me in the journalism profession, and prompted me to study nonprofit and public service. It may sound like a pipe dream, but I believe we can create a more just society based on true equality and democracy. Whether it’s through writing or other advocacy work, I want to be a positive force for social change and ultimately help make my corner of the world a better place.

It’s been said “life is a journey, not a destination.” I am on a continual quest of self-improvement, trying to enjoy the present moment, open my heart to the limitless possibilities of the Universe, and trust that it all unfolds in divine order – even when we don’t understand it. I seek to be the change I want to see in the world by living an authentic life, honoring my spirit, and staying true to myself. I hope you will join me on the ride as a reader, cheerleader, and hopefully a satisfied customer.