There's an epidemic among digital marketers that I like to call "pathological positivity." You've likely encountered more than a few social-media accounts run by the victims of this disease, and you may even feel some pressure to inject yourself with the condition while crafting digital posts for clients. But here's the thing: too much of anything is often toxic, and positivity is no exception.
After a summer on the road, I’m back in Tuscaloosa! In June, my partner and I headed to Europe to see some old friends and pilot a new approach to our dual careers as an academic (him) and a freelance writer (me): digital nomadism.
I posted a few thoughts about the challenge of balancing work and play on our family blog, and I realized that some of those thoughts might be of interest to y’all, too. Also, Vienna is the most photogenic city ever.
Anyway, it’s good to be back!
We didn’t learn as much German as we should have while living in Vienna, but I did manage to pick up one lesson: The art of the German language is definitely not in the sound of the words themselves, but instead in the elegance of the ideas and images those words can evoke when they’re smooshed together into little linguistic Schichtkuchen (layer cakes).
Take the word Sehnsucht, for example. Google translates it to “nostalgia,” but this seemingly simple thing is actually much more complicated — just like everything else in Austria. Break the compound word apart and the little words mean “to see,” “to investigate.” Put them back together, and you get something like “life longing,” or “a sense of separation from the imaginative experience we crave,” a translation I particularly like and picked up here.
Anyway, this nuanced sort of longing — not for the reality of an…
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It would be ironic to write a 2,000-word post on how to write content that's only 280 characters (the length of a Tweet). So instead, I'll offer some short-and-sweet advice for getting your small business or nonprofit started on social media ... with a little help from Matthew McConaughey, King of the South.
Well, how do you like THESE apples: I've been accepted into the MFA program for creative writing at the University of Alabama! What does this mean for my fledgling freelance career?
For those of us who live and work outside of major media markets, the remote trend makes careers in marketing and business services more viable than those careers were a decade ago. But the digital landscape also presents some real and uncomfortable challenges for creatives, and I'll be honest: I'm still struggling to navigate them. Here are some of the issues I've encountered as a creative freelancer -- and why I think it's still worth trying to make this career work for me. We may work for ourselves, but we're in this together.
It's hard to get a freelance business off the ground. It's also hard to move to a new town. And it's especially hard to do both of these things AT THE SAME TIME. Thankfully, we have The Gump to guide us.
You may not agree with everything I say here about marketing, freelance life, or even "the South," but my goal is to at least spark a conversation about how and what it really means to tell a successful story.
Here's a memory: I was 28 and sitting at a desk, surrounded by three white walls and a below-ground window that overlooked a dark patch of muck. I put up a giant poster of a leaf on one of the walls and told myself that would be enough. I had one neighbor on either side of my office, but both preferred to keep their own doors shut all day long, effectively isolating me in a silent corridor of a dark hall. Occasionally an insect would slip in through the old and flaky window pane, but that was about it for company on most days. I was supposed to be a storyteller, but I had no one to tell ... anything.
I didn't know what to do, so I did what I often do. Take photos.