Or I can *not* do those things
How are you?
You may or may not have noticed my professional absence of sorts these past many months. Not writing to you, not publishing much, not having Intense Opinions on LinkedIn. Some folks noticed, and wrote me, and asked if I was well, which I appreciate and understand — I hope I’ve not worried you.
It’s been a cosmic gumbo of a happily busy social summer, seasonal depression (mine hits hardest when it’s hot and humid and my body turns against me), an extended mid-life career crisis, and little entrepreneurial momentum fueling little entrepreneurial motivation.
So, yeah. How are you? Did I already ask that?
I haven’t had much professional luck of late — workshops not selling, business not closing, sporadic applications to interesting jobs evaporating without response. I hear I am not alone in this. It was making me miserable, and I got tired of feeling miserable, so I’ve just sort of … stopped trying? Which is maybe not the healthiest response, but you can’t force it, you know? I can hustle and stress and obsess about promotion and publishing and thought leadership and not make much money, or I can not do those things and not make much money.
This missive should not be used for any prognosticating about the UX industry or content strategy or what-have-you, by the way — it’s difficult to articulate how little effort I put into building my UX career, because in a certain sense I don’t really want to have it?? I just want to do weird creative things and not worry too much about money. And I think I’m getting there. Maybe.
So, depressive episodes aside, I’ve mostly been doing well, better than I have in a while, really, as I’ve redirected what grit and hustle I do have into creative and even silly pursuits. I’ve joined a recreational kickball league. I’m learning to weld. I'm helping do set construction with a local theatre group. I’ve been drawing and painting more, and created a computer-free desk space for art and making.
Sadly, however, as lean as my lifestyle has become, what I squirreled away from my time at Mailchimp won’t last forever — a couple more months, at most — and so I’m still sending off those sporadic job applications, taking work that finds me, and, as of this week, trying to blow the dust off of this whole writing and publishing and self-promoting thing. So: I have two self-hosted skills training workshops coming up, another through SVC, and another at the online Button conference. Allow me to tell you about them.
Clarity Through Content Strategy
Honestly I'm probably going to reboot this without the content strategy framing in the future, as though it teaches a lot of tools from content strategy, it's more about using design and writing to create clarity through all levels of an organization and its initiatives. It's for leaders, titled or not. It's digital strategy for grown-ups at grown-up organizations who are really in the shit and need some higher-order perspective.
Early registration has ended but you can still get the early price with the code: WaitForMe!
Content Ecosystem Mapping
Ecosystem maps, concept models, organizational models, OOUX for content, whatever you want to call it — this technique is my secret sauce for seeing the method in the madness, the order in the chaos, the isness amongst the oughtness. If you want to "be more strategic" about your content work, as so many people tell me they do, this is the workshop for you.
Content Strategy Fundamentals (SVC)
November 11 & 18, 2023 - $325 | Overview and Registration
Provides solid conceptual footing around content strategy and how it differs and/or overlaps with IA, UX writing, content design, etc. Great knowledge-gap filler for self-taught strategists and content designers.
Change Is A Feature: Effective Strategies for Communicating Product Changes (Button)
October 16, 17, 2023 | Overview
Based on a talk and theme I first developed for the 2012 Information Architecture Summit, and have been iterating and collecting examples for ever since. This workshop version is debuting at Button: The Content Design Conference. Ticket prices for Button increase at the end of this week.
Alright, that's all the promotion I can stomach. Thanks for hanging with me. Do write back, if you'd like.
Until next time,