I help develop and hone a brand’s message and then write articles, newsletters, e-books, etc., that tie into the overarching story. In the process, those who I work with end up more comfortable and confident when describing in words what they do and why they do it.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
After journalism school, I started freelancing, felt isolated, and decided I wanted to partner with companies for at least a few months, not just write one article here, another article there.
I should have never gone to journalism school. I was shy, British literature loving, and news-averse. But when I was 16 I realized I’d probably never finish my novel, and maybe I should major in something that would push me into action. Journalism was great for that: I had to interview angry strangers at a protest outside the Arizona Capitol. I learned to write stories that weren't excruciatingly boring to read about boring issues. My editors took no shit and gave the harshest criticism I’d ever sat through. I loved being a journalist.
Then I got married and moved to a small town where I worked at a local radio station. I learned how to sound like I was happy on-air and pronounce tricky words like Wawawai (wuh-WAH-way) in the early morning hours. After having my son, I quit the radio job and started freelancing. I said yes to any editing and writing job I could get. Three years later, I’ve learned that I’m not the next great tech reporter, and I don’t enjoy writing personal essays for lifestyle websites.
So I looked at everything I’d done and wanted to do and relaunched myself as Kindred Word Studio. A one-woman content direction and copywriting studio that prioritizes honesty over hype, and storytelling over viral-ness. Do you give a damn about what your business does and want a storyteller who gets you? Hi, <waving emoji> let’s talk.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
Patience -- it’s something that challenges me, too. It often takes many drafts and much fiddling and reading out loud to find the right words.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I’m writing an e-book for a lovely entrepreneur who wanted take a topic that her course touches on and go deeper. She came to me with a lot of raw material and ideas but needed help with the tone, structure, and writing. I’ve gotten to pick her brain through a few phone calls to nail her voice and mission. It’s insanely fun because we both show up with enthusiasm and great questions, discuss, and then I get to write a fascinating and humanity-filled book.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
Even though I’m not technically a journalist any longer, I like to say that I’m a journalist with the heart of a poet and the mind of an entrepreneur. At the same time, I'm research-driven, lyrical, and savvy.
A good example of my writing style is an article I wrote, Outlines are friends, not foes. In the words of one of my favorites, William Zinsser, I always strive to write with clarity, simplicity, brevity, and humanity.
A few projects I love are the Copywrong to Copywriter guidebook by Tait Ischia and the newsletter and magazine Offscreen by Kai Brach.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I’d love to work on longform pieces such as client profiles or case studies or a story that a company wants to tell that they’ve so far overlooked. Anyone else sick of talking about our collective short attention spans and want to write long, reported, engaging stories? Just me?
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
The idea that productivity looks one way. And that balance is something I should continuously try to attain. I have young children, and my work purposefully keeps me at home with them, so my days vary widely. My manner of productivity looks much different than what the gurus suggest, and I've come to believe that balance is semi overrated.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Send invoices, make salads for the week, explain what I do to my family.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I’d tell myself to keep writing poetry and short stories during journalism school, even though I felt like I had no time (I had time.)
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I’d talk to Lucy Maud Montgomery about writing Anne of Green Gables, Ann Friedman about journalism and podcasting, and Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson about being my own boss.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I’m looking to partner with mission-oriented businesses and entrepreneurs for 3 - 6 months to write copy (articles, website pages, e-books, case studies, other stuff!) that advances their goals. I’d also love to collaborate especially on projects that are about books, reading, parenting, childhood, and/or Arizona.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
A well-defined project on a challenging and intriguing subject matter with a client who communicates kindly and values curiosity.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
For monthly ongoing content direction and writing, my rates depend on the amount of copy needed and the length of the project, so I choose not to give a flat answer. I’m mostly looking for people who want to work with me for at least three months, although I occasionally take on shorter projects.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Remember: Done is better than perfect.
This member profile was originally published in November 2017.