Once my MFA program came to an anticlimactic end, I spent a lot of time trying to find my “home” or “my niche” in the career world. I was just starting to manage my expectations by preparing for a life of small wins and mild-mannered enthusiasms, which would hopefully include a few tropical vacations.
Last November, I was lucky enough to attend the MCN Museum Computer Network Conference in Dallas Texas. I have to admit that while I was happy to go, I wasn’t exactly expecting a life-changing experience in Texas. Upon arrival, I was impressed with how incredible the art galleries and public art programs were. If only Vancouver had such pocket change! But, it really took me by surprise that this is where I would find my people.
The keynote at the conference was given by a man named Lance Weiler, writer, director and experience designer, and founder of The Digital Storytelling Lab. His perspective on what it could mean to be a storyteller in the 21st Century inspired me to look at digital storytelling in a new light. He described a kind of truly collaborative and immersive experience that incorporated, popular culture, technology, the internet, physical objects, data science and the personal experience.
This analysis of what storytelling could be was the missing link for me. I had been dreaming of a way that writing, technology and creativity all jived and I shamefully thought the pinnacle of that was a cool app, which it could be, but the real Everest in digital storytelling is the personal, the intimate experience. Digital storytelling has the potential to create beautiful and shared experiences on a global scale. I want to do that.
From the start of my writing career, maybe even my whole life, my goal has been to connect with people, to understand what makes us happy, to bring people together and to engage with new ideas. I try to take this lofty goal with me in all of my writing pursuits.
I like to get to know my clients, find out what kind of stories they want to tell. I love ideas and I enjoy finding ways to make them work. It’s a real challenge to integrate marketing, mission and personal experience with practical things like word counts and analytics, but I love a good puzzle and the satisfaction that comes with finding that synthesis.