Approach with caution

Some “interesting” things have happened to me in the last couple weeks. I’m not all about airing my dirty laundry here, but I have come to see a trend and thought I’d share the personal observation with you.

But first, you need to understand my world a little better.

The daytime me.

In my professional world…the one that exists for me from about 8:30am to 5pm… I live and breathe content strategy. I get to spend my days thinking about how to solve complex problems through clear and direct content messaging, landing pages, specific user paths, information architecture…etc. I’m even getting a lot more versed in content marketing as we talk to outside vendors and start to pick their brains, and I go off and do my own research and start to formulate my own ideas and processes.

I see the need. I create the process. I feel the organization running through my veins. The wheels turn and the parts move like a well-oiled machine. I can see the path that works even when it’s not clear at the beginning…and it’s never clear in the beginning. But I know how to push forward.

Approach me in person and I could talk your head off about content strategy for hours. Probably days.

The me that exists in the in-between moments.

But then there’s the other side of me. Yes, I love content strategy and I love solving problems, but it doesn’t completely scratch my writing itch. I need creative writing as an outlet when I have spare moments so that I can spread out my ideas and write crazy things that may or may not ever see the light of day. I need endeavors that stretch me and test me and push me beyond the limits that I could see just writing for my employer. I need to do something with those “what if” thoughts that pop into my head and linger for a bit. And the ideas that clamp down and won’t let go? I put my claws right back in them and put up an even bigger fight. Right now, I’m currently fighting with one such an idea.

But it’s hard. It’s rough work. It’s embarrassing at times. It’s never ending. It’s infuriating and unfair. It’s huge and unfathomable and I can never quite get my arms around it. It’s unpredictable and  silly. It’s maddening and yet so very fulfilling. It puts air in my lungs and yet crushes me a minute later.

Finally, it’s really hard to talk about. On this blog, I scratch the surface. But if you were to confront me in person, I would curl up in a ball and probably just start shouting, “I DON’T KNOW! I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I’M DOING! THERE IS NO RHYME OR REASON!”

Your question may have been as simple as, “Hey, how’s the book coming along?” and I’d probably react like that.

Content strategy = eye contact and confidence.

Creative writing = sheer panic and the sweats.

So yeah, that’s my observation.

Content strategy?

Feel free to approach me in person with any questions you have. Let’s grab coffee, and I’ll just give you massive brain dump on the subject and my personal thoughts on the importance of breadcrumb navigation in any content strategy.

Creative writing? Anything to do with writing a book?

Run. Run before you see me turn into a scared animal rolling over to show you my belly. It’s not a pretty sight. If you just turn around and leave, you won’t have to risk seeing me that way. I won’t have to risk ruining our friendship. Kapeesh? Okay good.

On this blog, though? I consider this safe territory. But then again, this is a pretty one-way conversation. I’m really not exploring the topics that scare me to my core. I think it’s safe to assume you won’t see any of these posts in my future (but now you know just some of my many insecurities):

  • “In-depth analysis: How much can a writer REALLY hate themselves while writing a book?”
  • “Let’s talk about how everything I think I know is probably a lie.”
  • “What even IS the genre of my book? No seriously, someone please tell me because I don’t know.”

The good news is, lately I’ve been doing a lot of talking about content strategy and my passions around that area. And on the flip side, not many people have asked me in person about my book or my creative writing process (or lack thereof). For now, let’s err on the side of caution and keep it that way.

You’ve been warned.

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