When I went to visit my brother and sister in-law in Omaha, Nebraska this summer, we made a souvenir stop at a quirky little shop called City Limits. It’s like an expanded spread of trinkets you’d find at Urban Outfitters, minus the clothing.
I picked up this little $2.00 magnet quoting the great Ernest Hemingway.
You’ve heard the phrase before, I’m sure: “Write Drunk; Edit Sober”. The man wasn’t lying.
For me, a glass of Pinot, a Cherub + Lupe Fiasco-esque playlist and a blinking cursor are usually the perfect lubrication to get the words flowing.
But even that doesn’t work all the time.
My grandmother passed away on July 13, 2015. It’s never easy to lose a relative, no matter how close you were. But there are two things that gave me comfort with the news.
One is knowing that she’s no longer in pain. There’s a relief that comes with that.
And secondly, knowing that she left the people and places she touched, better off. Whether it was through wisdom she imparted or plain ole selflessness, that’s what I think it’s all about. Progress. Making things just a little better.
Some friends and I have this WhatsApp chat group to keep in touch since we’re spread all over the country.
+ 1 for technology.
The contents of this ongoing conversation can range from weekend plans to political debates (sorry, Chuy) to time-sensitive flight deal glitches to jump on.
Sometimes we talk about dating, too.
One of our friends likes to screen shot ridiculous messages she gets from would-be “suitors” along with her cynical responses and share them with us.
A little while back I went to a Meet Up for a Coursera class that just wrapped up at Northwestern University called, “Content Strategy for Professionals 1: Engaging Audiences for Your Organization”.
The course is lead by Prof. John Lavine and Prof. Candy Lee of Northwestern’s Media Management Center and Part 2 has just started up.
The purpose was to meet the professors, other locals taking the course, and get our burning content strategy questions answered by the experts.
During the discussion, I made an observation about many people who seem most equipped for “Content Strategist” roles at agencies and organizations: Many who find themselves with that title seem to come from journalistic backgrounds working as editors, reporters or even bloggers.
e.g. People who understand narrative. People who know how to get our attention and keep it. People who know their audience.
Underneath the titles are a set of skills and attributes that are pretty consistently found in good content strategist.
I had an epiphany.
I haven’t had one of those in a while.
Do you want to know the secret to finding something you love and positioning yourself to be great at it?
Well, it’s not really a secret.
When I tell you, you’ll probably be disappointed that it’s so anti-climactic. You might think to yourself, “well, obviously”. You may not even believe me.
Poor kid thinks he’s ‘figured it out’ at 26.
Here’s the thing though: If you’re not loving what you’re waking up to go do every and getting better at it everyday, then this may be of interest to you.