My writing life. (A philosophy.)
I know how busy my clients are. They have the ability to write their own marketing materials–what they don’t have is the time; there are simply too many hats to wear, too many fires to put out. I’ve been in their shoes. In my past lives I did internal communications for a global advertising agency, oversaw public relations for a web development company, and served as managing director for a boutique PR firm.
I’ve been internal, the client, the agency. I understand the demands on people in those roles, so I know how to make their lives easier. That’s why as a freelance writer I offer many services, but the most important thing I provide my clients is…peace of mind.
My writing life. (A narrative.)
I believe every writer’s tale begins with a childhood devotion to reading. I remember the excitement of combing through the Scholastic book flyers in elementary school and junior high and meticulously circling all the books I wanted. If I’d done all my chores for the month I could just about afford the stack of books I coveted. I consumed The Girls of Canby Hall series by Emily Chase and later became hooked on the Fear Street series by R.L. Stein. During the summers I loaded my cotton Helen Matthes Library tote full of books and tested new ways to carry the overflowing satchel while riding home on my BMX bike. (Yes, I was a tomboy.)
A decade before the movie Armageddon hit theaters, I wrote and illustrated my first short story about a girl going into space to save planet Earth. I passed on pursuing restitution from Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. I’m not the litigious type.
In college I cut my teeth as a student worker in the Media Relations department at DePaul University, where I majored in communications and filled my electives with English classes. Back then we stuffed press releases into envelopes and SNAIL MAILED them to journalists. Can you imagine? By my senior year I was a full-time intern in the Corporate Communications department at the prestigious advertising agency Leo Burnett and I attended classes at night. My boss, a tough-nosed perfectionist, once told me in an elevator–where probably at least one person was smoking a Philip Morris brand cigarette–that I was a talented writer. I’ve spent most days since then attempting to live up to that compliment.
One of Burnett’s subsidiaries, a web development firm known, at the time, as Giant Step, created a PR position for me when I graduated. I was 22 and reporting into a 24-year-old boss who didn’t have a background in PR. As such, I honed my job skills in the entrepreneurial fashion of baptism-by-fire. I flew first class to trade shows until the dot-com bubble burst in 2001, leaving me jobless for a spell.
Over the next several years I acquired skills in online media trafficking, project management, and client service. I eventually stumbled back into the world of corporate communications. What I loved most about working in PR was the writing. Unfortunately, the writing became a distant memory as I moved up the rank and file into management.
In 2008 I left my full-time job as managing director of a public relations boutique and ventured into the liberating world of self-employed freelance writer. Most of my freelance writing projects fall under the marketing communications umbrella, some needing more of my strategic guidance and project management than others. I also occasionally venture into the realm of freelance travel, health and business feature writing.