“What do you write?”

December 22nd, 2013

My one-word lifetime job description will always be “Writer,” even though I’ve worked in all kinds of other jobs. The question in the title of this post is the natural follow-up that people often ask when I tell them that. Since I need a better answer than “All kinds of things” or simply waving in the direction of this blog, I thought I’d give a better summary here for future reference.

1. Article writing for periodicals
Over time I’ve written many dozens of articles for newspapers and magazines, mostly local or in niches. I’ve covered all kinds of topics, with longish runs in book reviewing, business, environmental issues, and personality profiles. For a sample, check out this page at the Austin Chronicle, where I wrote a flurry of articles starting about a dozen years ago. (I did three or four times as many pieces as listed on that page, but some of them have been lost down the Internet memory hole.) I’m ramping up my periodical writing again in 2014.

2. Content Marketing
This has been my bread and butter for years, and I’ve written or edited everything from Web site copy to technical papers to sales decks. For three different employers, this has meshed with running their social media outlets as well. My particular stock in trade is the very specific niche of enterprise B2B technology content marketing. That means I’m good at learning how to talk about a new type of technology that is sold into big businesses, then translating that into all of the content that helps sell that technology. (If you’re not familiar with this use of the term, “enterprise” here means “sold to great big companies.”)

3. Blogging
Besides this blog, which rambles all over the place, I’ve run blogs for three different companies and done paid blogging for other venues. Much of this has been in the vein of technology and business, but I’ve also written on other topics such as wellness. Take a look, for example, at some of the “Life Balance” posts I wrote for CareOne.

4. Scholarship
I don’t do this anymore, but for a long time I studied history (the 16th and 20th centuries, at different times), religion, and international relations. Much graduate work was done, conference papers were delivered, etc. Maybe someday I’ll get back to that.

5. Fiction
One of these days, I’ll make my living making up stories, probably with a mix of literary and speculative fiction. Although I haven’t properly published anything yet, you can see some of my fiction experiments on this blog. (I’m partial to this little story.) I also sometimes write little tweet-length fictions with the #tinystory hashtag on my Twitter account.

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