Thank You + See you in the New Year!

When I started my mood board project back in March 2014 I had no idea how important this blog would become in my life. At the time I wasn't even sure I was going to actually go through with the whole freelance thing. My readership was pitiful at the start - I actually had to ask my mom to not comment on every post since that might give the wrong vibe hah.  But quickly my little blog started to get more attention, and when I started posting new content everyday my readership really started to blossom. Seeing the support from all of you really gave me the confidence to strike out on my own. Knowing that people care about my work and my life is truly one of the greatest feelings in the world.

SO THANK YOU! SO MUCH! For continuing to read my blog, posting your insightful comments, and sending me sweet notes. I am truly touched that people take the time to read about my little corner of the world.

I am going to take a hiatus from this blog for the next two weeks! I will be staycation-ing with my husband, spending time resting and relaxing before crazy January comes rolling in!

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday break as well - filled with either relaxation or adventure!

So from the bottom of my heart - wishing you peace, love, and laughter in the New Year!

See you in January!

Xo, Jess

Writer's Workshop: 5 Steps To Writing The Perfect “About Me” Bio

Background Artwork: René Gruau, 1964

Background Artwork: René Gruau, 1964

Whether it’s for a social media profile, a professional site, or a cooking blog, when it comes to writing the dreaded About Me blurb there are a few key things to keep in mind before you publish. Follow these 5 easy-ish guidelines, and that About Me bio of yours will be as catchy as they come. 

1. Consider your audience

To start with, consider the purpose of your account. Who are you speaking to? Why do you have the site or account in the first place? If your account exists for strictly professional purposes, then – depending on your industry – you may want to keep it conservative. If your account is personal, or if you work in a more relaxed industry, feel free to have some fun and give your About Me bio a fun feel. Think about the audience you’re speaking to and the intention of your site or account before you do anything.

2. Keep it real

This is a dedicated piece of internet real estate that’s all about you. Make sure your About Me bio expresses who you are as a person and a professional in an authentic way, both in terms of content and in terms of your writing style.  

3. Tell your story

Whether you’re a writer, designer, or work in another creative field, you know that being able to accurately tell the story of a person, place, or brand is an extremely valuable skill to have these days. Don’t settle when it comes to your story. Getting a little personal in your bio will help potential followers, clients, employers, and readers relate to you. Your story is the thing that separates you from the crowd. Don’t forget to tell it.

4. Keep it concise

As much as your readers, followers, and prospective clients want to know about you, it’s easy to become long winded when writing about yourself. (We’re all a little bit narcissistic, don’t you think?) If you’re having a hard time writing an About Me bio that’s concise, ask a friend or someone you know and respect in your industry to give your draft a read and suggest edits. 

5. Don’t overthink it

This is ultimately the most important step in writing your About Me. Remember that writing a bio for your blog, social media account, or portfolio site isn’t the end of the world – it’s your online bio. So while it needs to be accurate, fit with your style, and serve a purpose, everyone out there knows that it’s impossible to sum yourself up in just a few words. When you relax, the words will come to you easier. Trust me.

Satisfied with the copy? You’re not done yet. Don’t forget to accompany that shiny new About Me bio of yours with the following:

  • Photo: Include a photo of yourself that fits with the general vibe and tone of your content. The best profile and About Me photos are fun and have a personal feel while still remaining professional. If you don’t have any photos that fit the bill, ask a local photographer to snap a few shots of you on a Saturday afternoon.
     
  • Location: You don’t need to get specific, but if you’re comfortable listing the city or region which you live in I would highly recommend it. As an expat, listing “London” as my location on my social media channels has started more than a few conversations and working partnerships – it gives your readers and followers something to relate to, as well as a peek into your world.

From Jess: Thank you Robin! I absolutely hate writing bios, and this is so so helpful!


ROBIN REETZ

I’m Robin – a freelance digital journalist with about seven years working in media. My primary experience lies in fashion, lifestyle and design writing, and I've worked at places like Teen Vogue and Refinery29. In addition to my work, I also write about the independent fashion community (which I love) and chronicle my experiences as an expat on my blog

I've worked in many sides of the industry – from magazines to agencies to e-commerce. I'll be sharing what I've learned about writing and digital communication both from my professional experience, and from the experience I've gained as a blogger. 

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Seasons Change

Can't stop listening to this song/watching this performance! I gotta see Future Islands next time they come to SF.

Hope you are having a good wednesday! With my Open Studio, and first Makers Market behind me - I can finally focus on getting all my work done! Feels good when you can truly spend a day focusing on checking off your to-do list.

xo Jess

xo

Truth Rewarded Me

Sometimes I want to just shut out the world and hole up in a cabin by the ocean. Sometimes the world outside just feels like too much - war, tragedy, racism, class struggles, poverty, disease, rape, hungry children...there are just so many terrible things going on right outside my door. It seems easier sometimes to just not think about it and focus on my own little life. 

But I know I can't, and more importantly that I shouldn't. I need to continue learning about the world - the good and the bad. I also need to take more of a part in repairing the world. I have stayed pretty silent about the recent events (police brutality, the riots in Ferguson, the marches in NYC, Oakland and beyond). I think mostly because I am insecure about not being articulate or knowledgable enough about the events and am afraid to take a stand. I have never been much of a protestor - even when living in DC, I only went to a few. I really admire the people that do take an active role and speak their mind. I am full of support, but for some reason unable to put my own foot forward - or open my own mouth in solidarity.

I love this quote from Simone de Beauvoir because she speaks to this exact feeling that you truly have to abandon comfort and your prior notions of certainty to seek truth - but that ultimately discovering the truth and fighting for the truth will reward you. I think in our blog/instagram/pinterest/consumer culture we tend to desire and promote all things comfortable and beautiful. I admit I am completely guilty of this. I love beautiful things - but I also feel deep sadness that my design/blog community is often so...vain...so curated...so not real.

I don't know right now what to do about this problem - I have to promote myself to continue getting business. I also have to be careful about how I present myself to continue getting business. But I hope that by writing posts like this and being a bit more outspoken I can be more real. And while of course that is not going to repair the world, at least it is a small step for me.

I want to do more things to help people: volunteer, do pro-bono work for non-profits I believe in. I think it is important to utilize our talents to help the world. I just need to get started. I need to ween myself off of this selfish/curated bubble and seek truth. Baby steps for now.

Xo Jess