administrative

50-for-50: Frequently asked questions

This post is #47 in a series of 50 dedicated to the art and life of writing, in support of the 50 for 50 Project to benefit WriteGirl. If you like it, or if you think it could have been improved by a better writing education for its author, please give generously. And pass it on.

Eventually, when this is behind me, I’ll write up a more organized list of FAQs. But the video above and the list below take care of some of the things I’ve been getting asked a lot now that are sort of time-sensitive.

1. Party invitations

If you have given money for a party invite and have not received one from us (they’re coming from Pingg.com), contact me IMMEDIATELY: colleen AT communicatrix DOT com. I will forward your email to Jill Murphy, who’s taken over party stuff so my head doesn’t explode before we can get the hair off of it. But yes, all the invites have gone out.

2. Perk fulfillment & thank-yous

We—or rather, I—will be fulfilling perks after the close of the campaign. Probably at least a week after, because I seriously need a week to just recover. Since I’m doing it myself, it may take a while, but you will get your stuff, digital or physical.

As to thank-yous, I didn’t promise I’d do this, but I want to. Again, it will take a while. Please be patient! I can only do so much, and I have taken two months off of work to do the campaign, so I have to work, too. Because boy, Anthem Blue Cross gave me the OPPOSITE of a birthday present. Okay. ‘Nuff said on that one.

3. How I did what I did

I’ve started getting a number of requests for information on how I organized, ran, prepped, etc. the campaign. I will be sharing everything I learned over the next couple of months. Maureen Anderson interviewed me (and separately, Keren Taylor, director of WriteGirl) for The Career Clinic radio show; I’m going to do an interview for IndieGoGo’s newsletter and a Q&A via Skype with Don Stanley for his Social Media class at University of Wisconsin-Madison, which hopefully, they’ll post for other people to see.

I will also be writing things up myself, so please subscribe to the blog and subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you get those. You can unsubscribe whenever you want—I encourage it, in fact. But if you email me asking for the info, you’ll just get a reply to look for the info here. It will become recursive and annoying, and neither of us wants that to happen.

Again, please be patient. I’m pretty overwhelmed now, and I cannot help but think I will be more so once it sinks in that I am a 50-year-old lady with no hair.

4. T-shirt fulfillment

The “Old.” shirts are printed all at once, then shipped out by the printer. You should receive your “Old.” shirt sometime in October, if you ordered one. (And no, you can’t order one now—orders have been closed.)

5. Yes, I’m donating the hair

To these people. They seem nice, and they are definitely NOT blowing their money on web design, which makes us simpatico.

6. When is the last day to contribute?

September 13, 2011. After that, you’re welcome to donate money to WriteGirl, and I hope you will. But to say you’re a part of this crazy little project we’re all working on together OFFICIALLY, kick in here by Tuesday. Early. Because I may or may not have set the campaign to run out before 11:59pm Pacific.

Okay! That’s all I got for now.

Catch you on the flip-flop!

xxx
c

What’s up & what’s gone down :: June 2011

colleen wainwright

me, totally pulling a talk out of my ass

A mostly monthly but certainly occasional round-up of what I’ve been up to and what’s in the hopper. For full credits and details, see this entry.

Colleen of the future (stuff I’ll be doing)

  • June L.A. Biznik Mixer at Jerry’s Famous [Los Angeles; Wednesday, June 22]  Fun, free, low-key networking plus great tips, tricks and ideas from your fellow indie-biz folk, which of course includes me. Duh. All that, and Happy Hour specials, too. My co-host this month, photographer/creative director Josh Ross, may or may not be taking excellent shots of the whole affair. Join up here (free membership, which is nice), then sign up here.

Colleen of the Past (what I have done for you lately)

  • World Domination Summit [Portland, OR; June 3-5] This fantastic conference put on by my friend Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity and his crack team of dedicated volunteers exceeded even my loftiest expectations. (Bollywood dance lesson! Group crying! Free, Oprah-style fortunes taped to the bottom of our chairs!) There are photos available to view on Flickr (and my June newsletter shares one lesson learned). There will also be a documentary assembled eventually. What can I say? Get on the list for 2012; I’ve already bought my ticket.
  • ASMP’s Strictly Business Blog I’m an occasional contributor now, because dammit, I just can’t talk enough about marketing. This post covers the use of personal work in portfolios, written for photogs, but applicable to any artist whose life and work overlap.
  • The Suitcase Entrepreneur Podcast The already-high-spirited Natalie Sisson got rip-roaring drunk on cider and asked me my thoughts on how to build your audience as a blogger. And she did it all from a café somewhere in the world with really spotty wifi. God bless the internets!
  • World-Changing Writing Workshop 2011 My special poetry feature bonus thingy gets released later this week. If you’re a member of this year’s WCWW class, please be sure to join the forum dedicated to my bonus feature. It’s the place, and the only place, where I’ll be discussing aspects of the pieces, and answering questions.

Colleen of the Present (stuff I do, rain or shine)

  • communicatrix | focuses :: My monthly newsletter devoted to the ways and means of becoming a better clearer communicator (plus a few special treats I post nowhere else). This month: How to talk FAST (or, pulling a talk for 500 people out of your ass the night before). Free!
  • Act Smart! is my monthly column about marketing for LA Casting. Nominally for actors, there’s a ton of good info in there for any creative business person. Browse the archives, here.
  • Internet flotsam :: If you suffer from a surfeit of time, you can always look for me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, StumbleUpon and delicious.

xxx
c

Image by Armosa Studios via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

What’s up & what’s gone down :: May 2011

the author kissing a fave client on the cheek

I spent last month kissing my favorite clients!

A mostly monthly but certainly occasional round-up of what I’ve been up to and what’s in the hopper. For full credits and details, see this entry.

Colleen of the future (stuff I’ll be doing)

  • World-Changing Writing Workshop 2011 [Registration opens May 9] It takes people like Pace & Kyeli to get me more excited about making an entirely new thing and giving it away for nothing than I did teaching a paid class. But that’s how they are. Bastards. And kids, for as good as last year’s WCWW was, and it was an astounding value for your dollar, this year’s is going to wipe the floor with last year’s. What did I conjure up for this year’s lucky participants? Poetry, baby, sheer poetry. (Okay, and a deconstruction of how I do it, and how you can, too. It’s a class, right?) Check it out, get on the mailing list, blah blah blah.
  • May L.A. Biznik Mixer at Jerry’s Famous [Los Angeles; Wednesday, May 11]  Fun, free, low-key networking plus great tips, tricks and ideas from your fellow indie-biz folk, which of course includes me. Duh. All that, and Happy Hour specials, too. Join up here (free membership, which is nice), then sign up here.
  • World Domination Summit [Portland, OR; June 3-5] Alas, the WDS has been sold out for months, but I have a hunch that many of us who got golden tickets will be prowling around PDX outside the cozy confines of the venue. If you’re in town that weekend, follow it on the Twitters or what have you. Extracurricular meetups FTW!

Colleen of the Past (what I have done for you lately)

I cannot shut up about the life-changing experience I had at Strictly Business 3, the conference series produced by the American Society for Media Photographers (ASMP). I came to keynote; I left with 600 new best friends and an upended perspective on how to look at meeting people. It’s over now, but the awesomeness keeps on rolling:

  • I wrote about my breakthrough “A-ha!” moment for Strictly Business, the ASMP blog in an uncharacteristically brief essay called “Avoiding the Curse of Familiarity.” How I lived this long without ever hearing that phrase is mystery enough, but the real shock is that it took me this long to get why you must get out and meet people.
  • Jill Waterman interviewed me on marketing in the postmodern creative landscape for the Spring issue of the ASMP Bulletin. You can’t buy it on newsstands (or at least, I don’t think you can), but you can read the even more excellent version, or the lengthier one, anyway, for free on their website. It’s slanted towards photography, but I talk about all kinds of stuff of use to the creative person in today’s nutty world: what makes one person get the job over another, equally-qualified person; why “awesome” is the new normal, and how you can be more so; ways the focally-challenged person can get her act together and much, much more. (I’m telling you, it is looooong.) (But Jill did a kickass job, so it’s also good.)
  • Speaking of kickass, one of my 600 new best friends wrote something so nice about me it made me cry. Thank you, Ellen Boughn. May we gather together to eat extra-crispy bacon again very soon.

Oh, okay, one non-ASMP-related thing, which was also totally awesome:

  • Maureen Anderson has become one of my fave people I’ve never actually met. We have such a good time yakking, she’s made me a semi-regular guest on her terrific Career Clinic radio show. Last month, we spent the better part of an hour talking about how to talk about yourself. Stuff like: do emails have to be short to be good? What makes a good subject line? Why do people hate your sales pitch? Is there a secret to “working the room”? We also get into things you might find interesting if you wonder how coaching works, and specifically, how coaching works with me. Good stuff up in there! Go get you some!

Colleen of the Present (stuff I do, rain or shine)

  • communicatrix | focuses :: My monthly newsletter devoted to the ways and means of becoming a better clearer communicator (plus a few special treats I post nowhere else). Free! (archivessign-up)
  • Act Smart! is my monthly column about marketing for LA Casting. Nominally for actors, there’s a ton of good info in there for any creative business person. Browse the archives, here.
  • Internet flotsam :: If you suffer from a surfeit of time, you can always look for me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, StumbleUpon and delicious.

xxx
c

Photo of me and my beloved client, Susan Carr, Education Director supreme of the ASMP, at SB3 Chicago, by my other beloved client, Judy Herrmann, who introduced us. This is how it works, people!

What’s up & what’s gone down :: March 2011

cat looking back at itself in mirror

A mostly monthly but certainly occasional round-up of what I’ve been up to and what’s in the hopper. For full credits and details, see this entry.

Colleen of the future (stuff I’ll be doing)

  • March L.A. Biznik Mixer at Jerry’s Famous [Los Angeles; Wednesday, March 16] , Fun, free, low-key networking plus great tips, tricks and ideas from your fellow indie-biz folk. Join up here (free membership, which is nice), then sign up here.
  • Tongue & Groove [Hotel Café, Hollywood; Sunday, March 27 at 6pm; $5 at the door] I don’t know what I’ll be reading yet, but I’ve been tasked with providing levity for a dark and stormy evening. Me and the Goths, baby! Tongue & Groove is a long-running spoken-word (with occasional music) evening I’ve longed to be part of since I first went (on a real dark and stormy evening) over three years ago. Some SERIOUS writer-performer chops on display; I assure you, I’ll be the worst one there. But still good! And light!
  • Strictly Business 3 – Chicago [Allerton Hotel, Chicago; Friday – Sunday, April 1-3] If you’re a working or aspiring commercial photographer in the Chicago area or the Midwest, or you just didn’t get it together to come to the other two stops on the trip, this is your last chance and you are an IDJIT if you miss it. No lie. The feedback from attendees and presenters alike on this iteration of the ASMP‘s biannual conference has been phenomenal, like, crazy-good.
  • L.A. screening of SHINE On [Blankspaces, Weds., March 23, 6:30pm] I saw an early cut of this Biznik-made short documentary about the unique path of the entrepreneur at CFC two years ago. It made me cry, in the good way. Bring Kleenex and your business cards.
  • SXSW Interactive [Austin, TX; March 10 – 14] My calendar is already pretty much full for this annual nerd spring break, and owing to my delicate state of health I’ll be avoiding the big parties almost entirely. But if you see me walking around, please say “hi!” And if I actually can drag my ass to the Men with Pens party or the Copyblogger party, I’ll do the same. Or something like that.

Colleen of the Past (stuff I did, or that was done to/with/about me)

I’ve been sick since late January, so I did diddly. Other than talk my ass off at SB3. Which, have I mentioned, was AWESOME? So instead of me making up a bunch of stuff, I’m going to link to a bunch of stuff people wrote about the event. Because there’s a way these things work, and the best way to show it is to model it.

  • Brian Kaldorf wrote a comprehensive threepartseries on his experience at SB3. And included some very nice words about my talk and a nifty snap from the audience in this installment. (Narcissist at an all-photographer event? Like Christmas that lasts three days long.)
  • Felicia Perretti, super-dynamo of focused positive energy who will clearly rule the world one day, did a writeup that’s rivals the weekend itself for pumped-up enthusiasm. Naturally.
  • Gail Mooney, whose workshop I haven’t had a chance to catch yet, wrote a quick, clear-headed post on the value of SB3 whether you’re speaking or “just” attending. (Spoiler alert: attendees are easily half of what makes a great conference truly great.)
  • Neil Corman included SB3 in his weekly roundup post, as well as a photo of the street from his hotel room. Which is about as much of Philly as I saw during those three days, excepting my visit to the incredible Mütter Museum. Neil also said my talk was responsible for an aha! moment, have I mentioned that I love you, Neil?
  • Andrew Fingerman from PhotoShelter also included SB3 in his roundup of noteworthy items and said nice things about me. (I am not paying these people, people! I swear!)
  • Gregory Benson, who was smart enough to buy a half-hour consult with me, also was smart enough to attend one of my favorite workshops at the conference, Sean Kernan’s “The Artist Lost & Found,” which I alluded to in my own weekly round-up last Friday. You can read his take on it here.

If you did a write-up and I missed it, please email me the link and I’ll add it to the list. The Internet is forever! Or at least, as long as you pay your hosting bill!

Oh, wait! I did one really cool thing a while ago that became part of another really cool thing. David Trotter, fellow follower of all things Chris Guillebeau (we met at the December book signing) compiled a massive PDF of transcripts from a handful of his favorite interviews. And the one with yours truly is very much included! Fella has a knack for interviews, and knows a really interesting cross-section of people, so while I haven’t read it all yet, I am going to! You can download it, free, without having to input any email or name nonsense, as God intended, right here.

Colleen of the Present (ongoing projects)

xxx
c

Image by madnzany via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

What’s up & what’s gone down :: February 2011

cat looking back at itself in mirror

A mostly monthly but certainly occasional round-up of what I’ve been up to and what’s in the hopper. For full credits and details, see this entry.

Colleen of the future (stuff I’ll be doing)

  • February L.A. Biznik Mixer at Jerry’s Famous [Los Angeles; Wednesday, February 16, TONIGHT] , Last month we mixed it up at the mixer, adding a couple of little info-sharing exercises. BIG hit, so we’re repeating it this month, with new questions. Join up here (free membership, which is nice), then sign up here.
  • Strictly Business 3 – Philadelphia [Crowne Plaza, Philadelphia; Friday- Sunday, Feb 25 – 27] If you’re a working or aspiring commercial photographer in the Philadelphia/New York area or environs, I cannot recommend the ASMP‘s biannual conference highly enough. And not just because I’m giving the keynote or doing some (very) rare in-person consulting: the quality of content is just outstanding, and the people in this professional organization are, too.

Colleen of the Past (stuff I did, or that was done to/with/about me)

  • Interview on La Salonniere :: My longtime blogging friend Marilyn Maciel did one of the best interviews with me EVER. She asks really great questions, which draw out really great answers. Love this new blog. One of my faves of the past two years.
  • Video interview on LAUNCH52.tv :: I met David Trotter at the L.A. stop of Chris Guillebeau’s book tour. We talked each other’s ears off at the after-party, so he figured maybe we ought to try it via video Skype. He drew me out on walking away from stuff, being scared, and doing it anyway, etc. And of course, because I’m Tangent Girl, we talked about all kinds of other stuff as well.

Colleen of the Present (ongoing projects)

xxx
c

Image by madnzany via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

And we’re back in 5…4…3…

I officially ended 13 months of Self-Imposed Sabbatical this past weekend, in rather a hootenanny-ish way, ergo my delay in actually getting something posted today. I’ll write much more about the event, about the sabbatical, about the lessons I took from them and the ideas that have begun coursing through me again largely because of them, but for now, just a few quick top line observations:

It’s not just you. If there is one thing I learned over this past year in general, over this past weekend in particular, even, it’s that everyone is confused and everyone is learning and everyone is terrified and everyone is cautiously/secretly hopeful (if only spasmodically) and everyone thinks it’s just them, and they’d better shut up and keep their head down and try to look normal, or spout some party line hoo-ha about Tough Times. It’s not just them, er, you. It’s everyone. It’s me, and pretty much everyone I’ve engaged in conversation on the topic, a rather wide swath of humanity. (Note: I’ve been taking the bus more recently.)

I am not sure how much of this we can blame on the outrageously sped-up change cycles we’re enjoying these days and how much is just part and parcel of the human condition. What I do know is that if you can take a little risk to let down your guard and float it out there, you’re likely to find someone to help you carry your load. Or at least commiserate over the size of it.

There is no “done.” You will doubtless find this hilarious, but in my naivete I thought of this sabbatical thing as I did muffin-baking: throw a bunch of stuff together in a bowl, add this or that until it tastes pretty good in its raw form, stick it in a medium oven and 35 minutes, or 53 weeks, later, bing! Muffins!

It is not like that at all. In fact, it resembles quite uncannily what I remembered to be the drawing on the cover of The Artist’s Way, an endlessly winding road carved into the side of a mountain, where at every level the view was somehow different, yet somehow familiar. Only it’s not the cover of The Artist’s Way; it’s some other idea of a mountain I’d heard of or dreamt of from somewhere else. Maybe it was “before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

So there you go: no “done.” Just give that up. (And if you don’t believe me and several millenia of philosophical teachings, check this out. That’s business modeling, baby, no squishy woowoo stuff there.)

The soft things may be the most necessary. This is not the case for you if you are a big lounger on chaises longues, but if you are, you’re not reading this anyway, you’re lounging on a chaise. I hit seven out of ten goals for this past year. (My years now run from mid-February to mid-February, but let’s just say it’s unlikely I’ll publish three books in a fortnight and call it a day, shall we?) All seven were “soft” goals, reading more books, connecting more often with friends, eating right, exercising adequately. That sort of thing. My three token Masters-of-the-Universe goals all tanked. Yet I’ve probably made more progress this one year than I have in the past five or six put together, if we’re going to call “living happily in one’s own skin” a worthy ambition. And I do. And if you don’t, well, I wish you well, but we’re probably going to be spending even less time together in the future. I’m turning 50 this year; I don’t have as much dithering time as I once did.

And finally?

It’s good to be back.

xxx
c

Image by stevendepolo via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

What’s up & what’s gone down :: December 2010

cat looking back at itself in mirror

A mostly monthly but certainly occasional round-up of what I’ve been up to and what’s in the hopper. For full credits and details, see this entry.

Colleen of the future (stuff I’ll be doing)

  • December L.A. Biznik Mixer at Jerry’s Famous [Los Angeles; Weds., December 8] , Last one of the year, but I promise you there’s nothing “holiday” about it. If you’re L.A.-local or in the area, please join us at the monthly mixer I co-sponsor with my pal, Heather Parlato. Join up here (free membership, which is nice), then sign up here.
  • The Love Fire (A poetry event orchestrated by Akka B.) [Ojai, CA; Fri., December 3] The lovely Akka B. graciously invited me to read a poem at this lovely event. Very excited, as it combines several of my favorite things: poetry, reading aloud, Akka B/awesome friends, and Bart’s Books!
  • L.A. stop of the Unconventional Book Tour [Los Angeles; Fri., December 10], I’m a big fan of Chris Guillebeau, so whenever he’s in the vicinity, I try to make it out. You know the book is great, then come out to Book Soup to meet the man behind it. Sign up at the Book Tour website for updates on other details.
  • Women’s Business Social [Ojai, CA; Thu., December 16] My friend Jodi has been hosting these for almost two years now, helping the ladypeople give a big, fat “Eff you!” to the crap economy. This month’s meetup is back at my favorite Ojai spot, The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Schwank!

Colleen of the Past (stuff I did, or that was done to/with/about me)

  • No-Fail Framework for Marketing Yourself :: As a sort of ramping-up for a series of talks I’m giving to the ASMP next year, I wrote this piece on marketing 101 in the new era for the ADBASE blog and magazine. If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you’ll recognize the thinking straightaway, but the article gave me a chance to write about it more cogently and clearly. (You may need to Instapaper it, though, that’s some seriously light-gray type they use on the blog!)
  • Greatest gallery I’ve been inducted into :: Nothing else to say about that.

Colleen of the Present (ongoing projects)

xxx
c

Image by madnzany via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.