A while back, I had an amazing opportunity to write for Cosmo.ph. When I wrote the article, I’d just started a great new job, and was learning a lot. Here’s an excerpt of advice I’d give to anyone starting out.
There are certain things that apply no matter what industry you find yourself in. We came up with 17 non-negotiables you need to master, whether you’re a fresh grad or already a girl boss. Time to take down notes!
Things are constantly changing. New software, new workflows, new goals. You need to be comfortable going with the flow.
2. Constantly learn.
Take advantage of what your company offers. This could include going to conferences, taking online training, and even volunteering. If your company doesn’t pay for employee development, then find other ways to grow. Try Coursera or Udacity for free online courses.
3.Work on your passion projects.
Sometimes side hustles could lead to your next great job. Maybe you like podcasting, blogging, or vlogging—who knows, you might end up doing these full-time someday!
I recently passed the one year mark at my company (for my day job) so I’ve been reflecting a lot about the changes of the past year and how lucky I am. I’m a fan of the product I work on, and the people I work with are just awesome. It would take me too long to describe all the things they do and how amazing they are, but the short list is they’re dedicated, always on top of their stuff, always available when someone needs help, and, most importantly, they’re people you can hang out for two weeks straight and not get sick of (we did that this summer).
My new(ish) company in general cares a lot about investing in people, promoting diversity and inclusion, and letting its employees learn, grown, and find their own path and ways to make a difference in the world. Over this past year, I’ve gotten to learn about a whole new industry and product, create and manage my own projects, and do some amazing volunteer work. I got to meet STEM women from Africa, help assemble 3D-printed prosthetic hands for people impacted by war, and mentor middle-schoolers and help them learn about the wide variety of careers they can have when they grow up. I’ve also had the opportunity to do a lot of traveling: Petaluma, Anaheim, Montreal, and most recently, Las Vegas. These trips have been a mix of team bonding and attending conferences. Through them I’ve walked down the side of a 15-story building, done ropes courses, confronted my anxieties of standing in front of a crowd by singing with our team’s band, and learned so much from going to GDC, SIGGRAPH, and DevLearn.
DevLearn is a conference about learning, and covers trends, technologies, lessons, and more about e-learning, for education, internal training, and external training. This year’s theme was creativity, and a lot of the things I learned at DevLearn I think can be applied to multiple industries, especially publishing. A lot of the focus was on storytelling, and how to get your message across in a meaningful, effective way. Continue reading →
I get the opportunity to write cool stuff at my day job at Shotgun. This latest blog post is about how one of our clients uses Shotgun, which is a cloud-based platform that helps people manage their creative projects (films, TV shows, games, commercials, etc.). What’s really interesting about this industry is how much has changed quickly because of digital disruption (sound familiar, fellow book people?) and how people are embracing cloud-based technology more and more. You can read the full blog post here.
Shotgun has amazing clients all over the world creating beautiful media. I recently got to speak with project manager Ken Vandecappelle and associate producer Iris Delafortry from Cyborn about how they use Shotgun. Cyborn is a film producer and 3D animation and motion capture studio based in Antwerp, Belgium.
This is Cyborn’s first year using Shotgun, and the team is using it to work on a feature film project called, Ploey, You Never Fly Alone. This 3D animation feature film is a co-production between Cyborn and GunHil, a studio based in Iceland. About 30 people at Cyborn are now using Shotgun, as well as eight people at GunHil.
In 2012, I got to interview Hugh Howey, a hugely successful indie author, who worked harder than pretty much anyone else I’d met at that point to please his fans. He filmed himself doing silly dances in Times Square. He drove 3 hours out of his way in North Carolina when visiting family to meet a reader in person.
At the time I couldn’t fathom putting that much effort into my writing or the side projects I was working on.
“Yes, I love what I do,” I told myself, “but that sounds like too much.”
Then, in January 2015, my husband Garret and I launched our dinosaur podcast, I Know Dino.
We both had full time jobs, but we also both have a huge passion for dinosaurs (we even had a dinosaur themed wedding). We grew up watching Jurassic Park and Land Before Time, and couldn’t get enough. So we thought, how could we turn this into something productive?
Flash forward 1 year and 10 months, and we have 200+k downloads, awesome supporters on Patreon, incredibly engaged fans on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and a few people on Reddit even recommended us — which was amazing to see and, as we like to say, made us feel very warm and fuzzy inside.
I still work full time but I have found that I Know Dino consumes all my free time. And I love it. Now I understand what Hugh Howey was talking about in 2012.
I get to meet the coolest people all the time — paleontologists who are making new dinosaur discoveries pretty much weekly, paleoartists who shape how we all view these fantastic animals, writers who go in-depth to explain everything we know so far about dinosaurs. Not to mention the fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, friends, cousins, and more, who all enjoy learning about dinosaurs together.
“Understanding the past is key to understanding what this Earth is capable of and what we’re going to face at the present and in the future,” he said.
I love all of it. I spend my mornings before work and my evenings after work researching the latest news and reaching out to our dinosaur fans and fellow dinosaur enthusiasts. I spend my lunch hours prepping for our next episode. Garret and I also record episodes after work. I interview people on the weekends.
One of the best parts is getting to know our listeners on social media and via email, and seeing the awesome links and photos they send us.
And we aren’t just confined to our home office. The week of July 4, my company had a mandatory vacation week so Garret and I asked ourselves, how can we make the most of this?
Garret planned an amazing road trip for us and we spent 10 days on the road, traveling 67 hours and 4,000 miles from California to Alberta, Canada, to Montana, and back. We even made videos of our trip.
We met some amazing people at the museums and research centers we visited and really got the royal treatment. They let us tour the museums and even showed us some behind-the scenes research.
Paleontologist John Scannella, an all around cool guy who we interviewed on our first dinosaur road trip in episode 90, recommended we go, and we are excited to meet Victoria Arbour, Emanuel Tschopp, everyone we’ve only interviewed via the phone, and pretty much everyone else who will be there.
We’re not the only ones crazy enough to follow our passions on the road.
The world is full of fun, creative people. Every day, I hear about awesome projects. They’re so cool, I want to share them here. Though they’re not all book-related, they are media related, and since technology is bringing all kinds of different media together, it’s good to know what kinds of things different kinds of creators are making. (Also including some stories that are just plain inspiring.) Continue reading →
Another post in honor of Valentine’s Day, and a double-whammy at that. Today we have two infographics from Unplag, a website that checks papers for plagiarism.
Ever wonder how much love is in a love story? In this first infographic, according to Unplag:
We analyzed 2,365,012 words from 10 most popular romantic stories (Romeo and Juliet, The Notebook, 50 Shades of Grey, Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, Gone with the Wind, Jane Eyre, The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Twilight), and counted the following words: love(r, ing), hate, death, heart, relationship, affection, passion, and wedding. Below you can see our findings. They really surprised us a lot. Just take a look!
Next up, want to know what happens at the end of a typical love story? (Spoiler alerts for the 18 novels Unplag analyzed: Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Cyrano de Bergerac, Madame Bovary, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Anna Karenina, The Master and Margarita, Gone With The Wind, Thorn Birds, The Great Gatsby, Love in the Time of Cholera, The Phantom of the Opera, Bridget Jones’s Diary Series, The Notebook, Twilight Series, and Fifty Shades of Grey Series.)
According to Unplag:
For all these stories we’ve managed to define six the most typical endings. Here they are: death, marriage, children, staying together, separation, and unrequited love.
You’ve heard it all before. Startups, new websites, and even big powerhouses are all developing technology to disrupt how we collaborate, publish, and read. Today I want to focus on all the new ways we can read and absorb content. Sure, there are e-books, and there are even enhanced e-books with videos, but I’ve compiled a list of sources that have created either new ways to organize content, interpret content, or take in/learn content. Continue reading →
I’m proud to share that I’ve been interviewed by The Story Exchange about Write or Read! The Story Exchange is “a global video project empowering women to start their own business.” Read my interview here.
Self-publishing may be the new slush pile. In the past, the slush pile has been the pile of unsolicited manuscripts sent by aspiring authors in hopes of being picked up by a publisher. Now, some publishers are looking to pick up books that have already proven to be successful. They offer authors bigger advances and they take on less risk in doing so. Continue reading →
I’ve experienced a number of power outages the last couple years (interestingly, more so in the last two years than the rest of my life so far), and it got me thinking about e-books. Continue reading →