Onward and Upward: June’s Freelance Update

pink shoes balancing on a log

I’ve gotten pretty personal in my last few blogs — some would say, overly personal for a business blog. If the purpose is to find new clients, then what’s the point of talking so much about my own processes, insecurities, and revelations?

To me it’s simple: I’ve already spent a fair amount of my life trying to fit in, and not doing a very good job of it. If you’re uncomfortable reading about my neurodivergence, my reflective practice and process tweaks, or my fiction… we’re probably not going to be a great fit for one another.

If, however, you appreciate the raw honesty and the insight into learnings that might help you too (and you think you might be interested in new fiction to read)… well, stick around! I’m working on some cool things in upcoming months and looking for cool people to join (and in some cases hire) me!

First: a re-introduction

This blog has been around for 10+ years, so it’s easy to forget I my not be talking solely to people who know me. If you’re new here: hi, I’m Christa!

  • I’m a writer who has spent the last 7 years in B2B technology marketing, specifically in the digital forensics realm.
  • Before that, I worked as a freelance trade journalist specializing in law enforcement technology.
  • My superpower is distilling very technical topics down to where non-technical people can understand them.
  • Long-form content (articles, white papers, etc.) is my “sweet spot,” but I’ve written in lots of other formats, too, including email, websites, and social media posts.
  • (But not video. My attempt to script a video looked fine on paper, did not turn out well in the finished product. No one had any idea why.)
  • My dark fiction has been published in a variety of print and online magazines, as well as a few anthologies. I also write children’s fiction — I’ll talk about that more in a little bit.

On to this month’s recap!

My work in DFIR Land

I kicked off the month in Myrtle Beach, about 4-5 hours southeast of where I live, at the Techno Security & Digital Investigations Conference. I’ve attended that conference on and off for nearly 10 years, and it was my chance to reconnect with a lot of old friends and acquaintances, as well as to meet new faces for the first time.

You can find my recap of Techno Security here. One of the things that stood out to me included all the research people are doing. Whether for capstone projects for degree programs, or case-related needs, new discoveries and ways of thinking are constantly being made. Keep that in mind as you read — you might come up with something that spurs your own research!

If you have research or some other topic that you want to showcase to the community, give me a shout — my job at Forensic Focus as Content Manager is mainly to source new content. Besides writing it myself and working with our sponsors to promote their offerings, I’ll gladly work with you on your own DFIR thought leadership.

To that end, Forensic Focus is starting a podcast! I’m actively seeking interviewees to join me for short conversations about research, new developments in tech, mental health and stress management, lab management, or any topic that might be of interest to the community. If interested, email me: christa (at) forensicfocus (dot) com!

The world outside of digital forensics

I’ve worked in the DFIR community for more than 10 years, and as fascinating and complex as it continues to be, I’ve reached a point where I seek variety. This month, I did some thinking around other interest areas of mine:

Architecture, engineering and design. Have you ever passed through some massive network of highway over/underpasses and wondered how they came to be constructed? I have — and thanks to Greenville’s big Gateway project, I’m getting to see the art and science of constructing a highway while keeping the flow of traffic smooth.

It’s the same sort of excitement I feel while working on freelance projects for another client, a PR firm specializing in architecture and design. Not only do I get to learn about the thinking and strategy that goes into a hospital, school, or other building space; I also channel the architect’s enthusiasm into an editing or writing project, helping to shape the text in a way that inspires readers to feel excited, too. That reflects well on my client’s clients!

Disability accommodations. This is a relatively new interest area of mine, due in part to my exploration of my own neurodivergence (though also to disability advocates being vocal on Twitter, Reddit, and elsewhere about their experiences). It’s related in part to engineering, above, but also to a general desire to hear and understand.

Wheelchair and sensory processing accommodations are just the start. The abled world doesn’t make a lot of leeway for hidden disabilities. Heck, it barely understands them. It’s rare for people to listen with empathy and compassion when a disabled person explains their needs.

I understand this because I’ve been there too — on both sides: not understanding why a friend suddenly ran out of energy, but also finding it difficult to explain why I can’t eat just anywhere. It can be hard to understand. Without speaking for people who face these challenges, I’d love to take on projects that amplify their voices and help broader audiences understand their needs.

Wildlife conservation. I’ve committed to taking my children’s book Raccoon Rescue further, into a series about “nuisance wildlife”, conflict with humans, and humane coexistence. You can learn more about it at LivingWildSidebySide.com, as well as download extension activities (and eventually, lesson plans), read book reviews, and sign up to be one of my Patreon patrons!

While I continue to work on this fictional side of things, I will gladly write for businesses — both for-profit and nonprofit — to get these important messages across to your audiences, too. Want to see samples of my work in this area? Check out the Izzie’s Pond blog!

I guess you can say that my goal is to find projects that communicate how people are making the world a better place for other people. Living in this unprecedented period of mass human migration, individual and collective insecurity, and lots of bad blood, we need hope now more than ever.

If you agree, and you’d like to work with me, then give me a shout!

Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

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