The first day of spring seems a fitting time to mention a couple of major updates on my career. First, I’m writing a non-fiction book. Second, my day job is no longer straight marketing. In the former respect, I’m writing what I know, for a built-in audience. In the latter, I’m doing something I know next to nothing about, in an attempt to finally contribute—and I’m really excited about both opportunities to grow.
The book? A 33 1/3 volume on Pearl Jam’s Vs. If you know anything about me, you also know that my proposal being selected by the series’ publisher, Bloomsbury, is a huge honor. Though I’m contractually obligated to deliver the book, it still feels more daydream than reality. Me writing about a band I’ve loved since high school? Yeah, that’s a dream. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t major challenges in the work (not the least of which is carving out time to pen it), and it doesn’t mean my Vs. book is going to be a love letter. No, this is not fanboy stuff; it’s what I hope readers will agree is compelling scholarly reflection on a record that made a legendary band what it is today. It’s going to take a while, but I believe it’ll be worth the wait.
Speaking of waiting, I’ve been wondering how I might use my one solid skill to truly better others’ lives for years now. (Not coincidentally, the thoughts began nagging me shortly after my dad’s passing.) I’ve loved writing marketing copy all along, but selling social features and cell phones and investing tools and restaurant menu items was cultivating diminishing returns. So: now for something completely different.
Today I started at Health Perspectives Group. It’s a patient advocacy organization that helps people with serious health conditions make better-informed decisions about their pharmaceutical options. At least, that’s how I understand it after one shift. There’s a ton I don’t know about what they do, but it’s clear that they care about people and their well-being. And my contribution—consultation scripts, email, print materials—could help some of those people live better lives. Maybe that’s romanticizing it a bit, but HPG’s mission is one I believe in, and I hope to give patients who engage with them simple, clear information about their options… while I learn a whole bunch myself.
It’s going to be a busy spring. Here’s hoping there’s a bountiful harvest in the months and years that follow.