I’m a writer and editor of Write Right. Need I say more? Of course, I do. I help people, primarily fiction authors, get their manuscripts to publishable quality.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
You could call it practicality. I’m creative with a huge dash of logic thrown in, so when I went to graduate school to study creative writing — with a poetry emphasis! — I knew I needed to consider my career options. I ended up in marketing communications because a) I didn’t want to become a high school teacher; b) I wanted to create useful content, and b) I held an existing interest in advertising and graphic design. Marketing and digital media seemed like the best outlet, which it has been.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I’m up at 5 am to workout. It clears my head a lot of times and helps me tinker with a particular phrase or upcoming project. Breakfast occurs around sixish, and I’ve usually hit at least one writing or editing assignment by 7 am. I work best in the mornings, so I try to use that time as much as possible to get things done. Technically, my day could end around 2 pm, but I stay online to check email and look for new work opportunities until 4 or 5 pm.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE?
I’m a hybrid in perhaps all senses. I use a Mac for most things but also own a PC that contains all my design tools—speaking of which, I use Adobe’s Creative Suite to touch up my drawings or turn them into a full-length journal or coloring book. In terms of productivity tools, I work with a couple of apps because of client’s varying needs. The tools include Basecamp, Asana, Trello, Evernote, and Slack. The Google calendar proves useful, too, but I always support the online calendar with a wall one and a handwritten, daily to-do list. Oh, I’m also a big fan of folders and bookmarks. I use them to organize research materials more often than I employ Evernote. Folders are a lifesaver for Word documents and other files, too. One of my graphic design/web design professors drilled folders into me during a Dreamweaver course, so let’s blame her for my compulsive use of them.
WHAT DO YOU DO OR GO TO GET INSPIRED?
I’m not really a fan of “getting inspired,” so I suppose I’m part of the Jack London crowd: you go after inspiration with a club. (I also use, “This is Sparta!” semi-regularly, so I’m more about doing the work and letting the inspiration come — if it comes — as I sit at the desk and write.) However, other people’s writing, art, dance, exercise, and music are good sources of inspiration for me. Almost anything can be inspiring; you just have to live your life and pay attention to what’s going on around you. An art exhibit I saw a few months ago put the thought this way, “What is art? Close observation.”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
Oh, dear. I warn people not to ask this question because they’ll lose hours of their life, if not get sucked into a black hole. If we’re talking nonfiction, one of my favorite books is Luci Shaw’s Breath for the Bones. I also love Makoto Fujimura’s Refractions. I’ll leave fiction and poetry alone since we’ll be here all day if I start talking about them.
WHAT IS THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
I’m not sure if a coloring book counts as a “problem,” but it’s the project I’m tackling at the moment. I want to get my second one finished and published before the end of the year.
IS THERE A PRODUCT, SOLUTION, OR TOOL THAT YOU THINK IS A GOOD MATCH FOR YOUR DIGITAL PUBLISHING EFFORTS?
Three come to mind: WordPress, MailChimp, and Instagram. I use Twitter, too, but it’s not the same network as it was two or three years ago. WordPress is my CMS; MailChimp acts as both a newsletter platform and RSS feed; and Instagram lets me share books, art, and other important matters, such as my faith and what it’s like to live with type 1 diabetes.
ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS JUST STARTING OUT?
I would encourage them to pay attention, read (or look at photos and designs) a lot, and hone their craft. Also, they shouldn’t expect to ever “make it.” Stay humble, and they’ll go farther than they ever thought they could.