Today for the first time, I read your about section. I found it amazing that you have established such a strong career at such a young age. How did you do it? The Anthology is awesome and I look forward to your future posts! :)
Thanks, Shona! To answer your question: sheer terror.
When I was in university, I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to find a job with a degree in English Literature so I started building a portfolio, contributing to UBC’s student newspaper. As I approached graduation I was terrified my resume wasn’t beefy enough so I took every internship opportunity available to me: I interned in the newsroom at Global Television (BCTV at the time), at TheTyee.ca and at Traction Creative Communications. When I was hired as a writer at Traction, I made a point of giving every presentation I could (even those on camera) though they made me a little, well…terrified. I presented my work to clients who were twice my age while they would comb through my writing and question every comma.
I started contributing to the Georgia Straight and would review my pieces over the phone with my editor during my lunch breaks.
I didn’t see my friends much.
When I began working more closely with my agency’s interactive department I discovered every developer, project manager and art director had a blog (I’m looking at you, Liv, Teresa, Terry, Graeme and Melissa) and I thought to myself I want one! So I started The Anthology. It was a hobby, something I wrote for fun. As The Anthology grew I learned so much about managing my own brand (very different from writing for others) that I started lecturing on the subject at SFU’s Continuing Studies.
I also started contributing to Vitamin Daily and the Province.
Clients began approaching me and I built up enough of a clientele to leave my day job at Traction Creative, a role that I loved with people I loved working with. It was a little terrifying but that was the start of Northill. And though being an entrepreneur is much more difficult than being an employee, it is also, at times, much more rewarding. (Love you, clients!) I feel very, very fortunate.
Now, I’m pushing myself to take on another big, terrifying project (can’t wait to tell you all about it!).
So I guess that’s the moral of my story: stay terrified. Thanks a million for your note, Shona! Hope this was helpful.
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