April 26, 2011

How To Introduce Yourself

By Rachel Gertz

Name’s Rachel. In case you noticed the last name was the same, I’m the wife of that homeless guy who’s been working here for almost a year. I like to write.

Here’s the thing. I’m no big name in the industry.

  • I don’t have 14,000 followers on Twitter or my own paparazzi trying to snap naked photos of me eating orange creamsicles.
  • I don’t have 27 years of experience in the industry.
  • I don’t have a fancy title or a shirt with my own face on it. Yet.
  • I never graduated with a degree that would have permitted me to write this post.

And I sure as shit never thought I’d call myself a writer.

But here I am. Working with nGen and loving every sexy second of it.

I guess I better give you a little context lest you begin to think that Carl downed some Oxycontin a half an hour before he hired me. My time as a writer can be summed up to a short, but sudden twist of fate. Cue the music.

When I was thirteen, my English teacher looked deep into me eyes. “I expect to see your writing published one day,” she told me. I’m pretty sure she’d been mesmerized by my short story documenting spontaneous self-combustion and bipolar goldfish. At any rate, I smiled and promptly spent 12 years forgetting to write.

Instead, I fled to creativity’s opposite pole: I became a high school English teacher. The marbles hit the floor after one year of critiquing adolescent essays. I realized how unbelievably hypocritical it was that I hadn’t created anything worth reading in years; yet here I was being critical of a fifteen-year-old’s Ode to Kanye. Done with that. Next, I found and quit a job in Suicide Prevention (just a coincidence). The pivotal part happened when my husband and I decided to blow the proverbial popsicle stand and drive around America in a motorhome for eight months. Challenging the status quo became a necessary part of our adventures; something that taught me to stop running away from change and instead, begin to slowly undress it n’ make it do a sexy dance.

To be honest, It wasn’t till I was faced with a million miles of highway that my desire for words came alive again. I started writing about our adventures every day and questioning even the most accepted of social norms. Earlier, Trav and I had also birthed our own web design company to finance the trip which spurred on a slurry of learning, wet sponge style. Having run classrooms of horny, headstrong students (see passionate and engaged), I can honestly say that the skills I learned as a teacher translated perfectly within the design world. I soaked up the process, concepts, and management of design projects. I fell in love with that notorious concept of content strategy. I fell in love with people and problem solving.

Now all I do is eat, breathe, and cough words. I can’t stop. I guess you could even call me a storyteller again. At least I hope that’s why nGen hired me or we’re all scuttled.

I’ll be keeping myself busy at nGen updating internal and external content, fashioning articles out of sequins & popsicle sticks, aiding in project management, industry research, and generally stirring up a ruckus the way a nice logophile should.

Long-term goal? A nude oil painting of Bill Murray with a kitten.

This job better pave the way.

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