"I believe life loves the liver of it." Maya Angelou
What I've been working on:
A little of everything it seems like these days. We hit the ground running post-holidays at RightNow, and it feels like we haven't slowed down since. Currently on my radar: extending our social media planning runway to have posts mapped/scheduled a month in advance, beginning to build out and brand all-new RightNow Media @ Work platforms, starting up a new social-unique content project, migrating all the management for those projects onto our team's newly-acquired Hive account, learning Hive in the process, hopping on PR and copywriting needs as they arise, and expanding my knowledge of digital advertising. It's a lot to juggle, but it's challenging me in a good way. And when you love the team you're juggling with, it's still a good time. Will keep y’all posted on all the things.
Also, I wanted to give a quick intro on something I’ve got up my sleeve for Ryley Writes in 2018.
You may have noticed the new Stories tab in the navigation of the site. (If you hadn't, now you have.) If you've been following this blog from the start, you know I graduated with a journalism degree and specialized in longform, feature-style writing. Narrative journalism will always be my first love.
I've spent about three years hoping to wiggle my way back into it via freelancing, but in the past year had two major (if obvious) realizations.
- The traditional magazine freelance system is ridiculous, it's 2018, and thanks to the internet, I don't need a publication's backing to write stories anymore.
- I've been focusing creative energy on things out of my reach rather than focusing on the unique of right where I am. I can't tell you how often I've lamented the amazing travel/outdoors stories I would write if only I was in some very cool, outdoorsy place. This past year, I finally decided to stop wasting time and opportunity.
I live in Texas. Born, raised, returned, rooted. And you know what? I LOVE IT. I don't quite have words for how in-the-blood Texas is, though Lord knows I've tried to explain it. Texas boasts a singular pride and culture that — oh great wow I'm going to get emotional writing about this and prove my own point — I've always been thrilled by and loved getting to share in. My favorite stories to write are those involving strong culture. Why have I never embraced that of my home state?
And as far as the outdoors goes, Texas may be lacking in the mountain- or ocean-specific activities, but it's got plenty going for it. Hiking, running, and biking can be found, obviously; but also, hunting and fishing, an entire world I'd largely dismissed. I decided in 2017 that it was high time to stop whining about not being able to snowboard and go explore my own backyard.
I can publish independent stories right here on my own site. I already have an awesome niche at my fingertips. Two tiny realizations, but they changed the game for me somehow.
With those in mind, I created space for Stories in 2018. The page will consist of long narratives — one of which is already in the works — and notes, which are more like short vignettes. All travel/outdoors themed. All set deep in the heart of Texas.
I've already tossed a couple things on the page just so you can get a feel for it. One is a longer blog post from a road trip I took in 2016, and the other is just a a short story from a Shell station in Corsicana. Check it out if you're so inclined! I'm pretty excited about it. I've missed this style of writing.
Randoms for your weekend:
- Texas Monthly redesigned their magazine and website. Not only is it beautiful, I loved the piece they published detailing the process and thought behind it.
- This film of lightning is one of the most beautiful things my eyes have ever watched.
- “You teach somebody to love something, they’ll want to protect it.”
- Susie Davis just did a podcast with her husband, Will, on vocation. I’m biased because I love them, but I found it so encouraging & practical. Maybe you’ll like it, too.
- "Where do you see yourself in the future?"