“Writing” has been underrated for a long time. Many don’t even consider it as a profession. Growing up as a child, I wanted to major in this profession, but my parents wouldn’t let me.
According to them, it was regarded as a profession for the poor. I wouldn’t blame them, they felt they were doing the best thing for me as at then. However, I vowed to change the narrative. Perhaps, I want to raise more awareness about this beautiful profession – writing.
I have the pleasure of interviewing a Forbes Contributor, a brilliant Ghostwriter and a Published Author, Amy Blaschka.
Amy, I hope you don’t mind sharing more about yourself to the audience?
Of course, Chinedu! Like you, my parents wanted to make sure I graduated with a “marketable” major, so I could easily find a job. The problem is that those so-called “marketable” majors bored a creative person like me. I ended up graduating with a Visual Arts degree in Film/ Media and minored in Communication. I’ve always loved the idea of working with people to bring to life compelling narratives. I thought I’d be doing it as a Filmmaker, but I’m thrilled to be doing it as a Writer.
Your LinkedIn profile states that – I help leaders craft their stories to communicate and connect better, I hope you don’t mind elaborating more on that?
To me, wisdom is only valuable if it’s shared. Leaders have a wealth of experience and insights, but often have trouble communicating them in a way that draws others to them, be it their employees, partners, clients, or investors. I help leaders share their stories in compelling ways so they can focus on what and who matters most. This helps build their personal brands and thought leadership in a genuine way that provides value to others.
From your work experience, you have worked as a Branding Consultant, Senior Account Manager, and President & CEO, that is really a wealth of experience. How have those experiences helped you as a professional?
I’ve certainly had a non-linear career path, but I think that’s actually enhanced my ability to understand my clients better. Because I’ve worked in large and small companies, on the agency and client sides, and in corporate and non-profit roles, as well as founding my own business, I can relate to people from all walks of life. Additionally, though the industries in which I’ve worked have varied, I’ve always worked in a liaison role with others, weaving an engaging tale about everything from a theme park to a soda to a destination to a person.
You founded your company 8 years ago, what actually gave you that vision?
It’s funny, even when I was running someone else’s organization, I treated it as my own. Moving from a traditional business role to founding my own company was awesome because it provided me two things I value most: freedom and autonomy. I get to create the life and business I want, rather than trying to force-fit my dreams into someone else’s box. Plus, my talents are put to their highest and best use every day, and I’m paid for them by amazing and appreciative clients.
As a Forbes Contributor, what impact does it have on your business?
Being a Forbes Contributor helps me reach a broader audience and serves as an important endorsement of my writing abilities. The Forbes brand is so recognizable that it provides instant credibility. (Even my parents are impressed by this!) As a ghostwriter, I won’t share my clients’ work because of confidentiality. My Forbes pieces allow potential clients to get a better sense of my writing style and range.
Many perceived writing as a profession for the poor, being a published author, what is your view on this perspective?
I guess that depends on how much you value effective and compelling communication. (Spoiler alert: I HIGHLY value it!) My professional writing services have made me more far money than being a published author.
Being an active member on LinkedIn, what impact does it have on your business?
It’s incredible! Aside from referrals, I gain almost all my new clients from LinkedIn. Regularly sharing my content, engaging with those who like, comment, and share my work, and engaging with others’ content has allowed me to build relationships and awareness. Clients will tell me that they followed me for a while and reached out because my content and interactions resonated with them.
Have you ever been trolled on your work? If yes, how did you cope with it?
Of course, and it’s not fun. At first, I was very upset. I’m a sensitive person, and when someone unfairly critiques you, it can feel very personal. But my attitude changed when someone reminded me that when you have trolls, it’s almost a rite of passage and a sign that you’re doing well! Ironically, when a troll comments on your post, they bring more attention to your work, as everyone in their network now has access to your work. I’ve also found that trolls are cowardly people who hide behind their keyboards and who haven’t published their own work, so I now let their opinions go. In the rare instance that someone is abusive, I have no problem reporting and blocking them. I’m all about spreading positivity, and life is too short to deal with negative people.
You are one of the respected ghostwriters out there, what advice do you have for the young ones who look up to you?
Awww… am I? That’s nice. The best advice I received before starting my writing journey was to stop hiding and take action. As you know, it can be terrifying to put your work (and a piece of yourself) out there for public view and judgment, but the only way to get better at something is to practice! Keep writing and keep hitting publish. Consistently write about what matters most to you, and those who resonate with that message with find and follow you. I also think it’s essential to read— books, articles, other people’s content— because it helps you become better and can fuel your creativity.
In the next five years, where do you see the future of creative writing, ghostwriting, and of course, social media platforms?
With the advances in technology, I can see artificial intelligence being integrated more and more in an attempt to be more efficient. The good news is that computers are not humans, nor can they perform those human-centric and creative skills such as effectively communicating or creative writing. I can see the skill of writing becoming even more valuable in the future because you can’t outsource it to a computer. With social media platforms, I see even more integration between professional and personal lives, where no platform could be labeled as simply for work or play. My hope is that social media platforms to find a way to encourage more significant connection.
What social media platform would you recommend for those considering to pick up writing as a profession?
I’m partial to LinkedIn because it’s the only platform that was established for business and gives you the ability to freely share content in multiple forms. You need to be where your clients are to be able to get their attention, and LinkedIn has proven invaluable.
What else would you love to share about writing that I have not asked?
Though most people know me for my Forbes articles and social media ghostwriting, I also love creative writing, and I’m currently working on my debut thriller/suspense novel.
If the audience wants to contact you for your service, where can you be reached?
It’s been a pleasure to have you around here, Amy. You have solved the major problems facing many aspiring writers out there.
Thank you for the opportunity, Chinedu!