Some Thoughts on What It Is that I Do, For Those Who are Still Confused. Which Apparently Includes Me.
Admittedly, a month is way too long to go without updating one’s blog (if one wants anyone to read it, that is), but my recent hiatus has been for good reason. Good reasons 2-46 involve such things as being super busy, prioritizing non-virtual human interactions and indulging Gunshy in extra-long walks, but Good Reason Number One is that I felt the need to assess the point of this blog, and the question was boggling me.
See, as a writer I’m hyper-sensitive to writing with concise themes. I have no time for blogs that jump from “this is my favorite restaurant” to “I had the weirdest itch in my armpit today.” Just like a magazine or book, to be of value a blog must be themed to be meaningful. Rather than be a bloviating hypocrite on this point (as much fun as I enjoy bloviating), I felt that my blog should meet that standard in its pursuit to represent my professional life.
Here’s where it gets tricky: if the blog’s theme is my career…than I guess I’d better figure out the theme of my career, right? I’m a writer, so I could blog about writing. I work in marketing and PR, so perhaps that should be in there too. A lot of my PR work is through social media, so I could jump on the “I’m a social media guru” bandwagon (insert mock vomiting here). I’m also recently self-employed, and entrepreneurship is a topic I’ve written on and find fascinating. But my passion is downtown development, which finds its way into my writing, promoting, volunteer and personal life. So…what am I going to write about again?
The embarrassing thing about not knowing how to define my career in the blogosphere is that the toughest part of my transition from public sector-employment to self-employment has been getting the people in my life to understand what it is that I do. It turns out that having more than one vocation at a time totally freaks people out. Nearly everyone over the age of 35 really needs me to pick a job title and stick with it. Am I a writer, an event-planner, a professional Twitterer or what? And then why am I still going to downtown development conferences?
I was attending one of these (super-exciting) downtown conferences (that I love to go to, so isn’t that enough?) yesterday when it dawned on me that my blog-theme frustration is the same as the frustration of those who want my career to be more uniformly defined (drat! accidental hypocrisy again!). It’s also where I saw all of the pieces of my professional life come together:
- I was attending the conference with New Moon Visions, the community branding, marketing & PR firm for whom I do the bulk of my promotions work.
- During the conference I was updating my professional social media accounts, all of which are downtown- and community-related, as all of the uber-relevant info and ideas to the organizations I represent. What’s more, I was able to connect with the humans behind the other community-based social media accounts I interact with daily.
- Speaking at the conference was the founder of Issue Media Group, a publishing company that produces two of the innovation and development-themed publications to which I currently contribute, Capital Gains and Concentrate.
DING, DING, DING!
The theme of my career is community development through communications, or, asI’ve written before, saying good things. We’ve become rather uncomfortable in the last century or two with theme-based vocations rather than job-based ones. We call people like Leonardo da Vinci “renaissance men,” but what we really mean to say is that he was a painter, engineer, scientist and writer (among others) under one theme. Da Vinci’s theme was “innovation.” Mine is saying good things to benefit communities.
To be clear, I am no da Vinci. But I do know what I should be blogging about now: everything I do, not just part of it.