Catching Up with Christa: The “2019 Can Downshift Now” Edition

As a marketer, falling off the blog wagon is never a comfortable thing to have happen. Consistently fresh content is important to search engine algorithms, as well as to relevance in social media.

Of course, “relevance” is subjective, and in the middle of major change, requires adjustment. Coming out of not only a period of burnout, but also an employment shift, I’ve been rethinking my own relevance to the different communities of which I’m a part; hence the quiet period on this blog.

Losing my job, finding my purpose

I experienced my second layoff in three years in January. While not as traumatic as my first one, it did still require me to rethink my priorities. I fielded interviews from multiple companies before I remembered: in 2016, following my first layoff, I’d decided to refocus from marketing back to my first love — writing. Ultimately, it was this realization that made me think it was time to do something different.

So, I accepted a contract role at Forensic Focus, a digital forensics-oriented website that’s been around for about 20 years. My job is to source and write original new content, a role that in many ways represents a return to the thing I was doing before — freelance trace journalism — but also represents an opportunity to help educate and inform new audiences about DF/IR.

Of course, as a freelancer once more, I’m also seeking new clients. I’ve updated my website as a result. Have a look around to see what I offer these days, and if you think I can help your business or your nonprofit, give me a shout.

The slow steady burn

Rekindling a burned-out pilot light is, of course, as much about keeping the flame steady as it is about getting back to cooking. My website redesign reflects my twin interests, because I write professionally in both quarters (and let’s face it: at this time, I don’t have the time or the energy to maintain two different websites).

In fact, fiction was where my first professional opportunities of the year came from:

  • I learned that the anthology where my novella “The Kings of Babylon” appeared would be headed to the Golden Globe Awards and, later, to the SAG Awards, part of a gift package for celebrity award hosts and recipients.
  • Another novella, “Resurrection Blues,” was accepted for publication, also by Running Wild Press.
  • I participated in two local author talks — one at As-Sabeel Academy, where I was joined by Angel and Dory from Izzie’s Pond, and the other at Greenville Middle Academy, where I had a PowerPoint but no cute raccoon, but managed to hold the kids’ attention anyway. I also gave a second virtual Q&A for writing students at Goldey-Beacom College in Delaware.
  • Finally, I signed a contract for a new, standalone novella collection that will pull together all the novellas in the alternative universe I’ve been writing for Running Wild Press. Sodom and Gomorrah on a Saturday Night will be published early next year and will include both currently published novellas, a third which I just completed, and a brand-new fourth novella that I’ll be working on this year.

So, things are happening, perhaps not in the way, the order, or the speed in which I’d like, but definitely in a way that’s spurring growth and driving me forward. I’m on the right track, I think, and I’m looking forward to seeing the next opportunities that 2019 brings my way. Could that include you? Drop me a line and let me know!

Image by piviso from Pixabay

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