I like this quote spoken by Steve Jobs: "You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
For Turns of Phrase, this quote rings true.
I am a Writer/Entrepreneur with a new business writing for others. I have had two notable wins this year that have inspired me to tell the tale.
In January, I was published in Oz Magazine for a press release that I wrote for the Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS), which produces the upcoming Atlanta Film Festival (March 24th-April 2nd). Another piece I wrote, published on UrbanGeekz.com on March 9th, was shared 2,000+ times between Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and was called a “good read” by the Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed.
I’d like to connect some of the dots of my life to see how Turns of Phrase came to be. I will start with a little-known book called I Eat My Spaghetti with Toenails, which I wrote when I was 10.
1. The book is an offbeat and humorous tale about how one family tree became obsessed with eating spaghetti with toenails, and the happenstance occurrence that led to this strange tradition. Yes, pretty disgusting. Maybe I had been inspired by some of the eclectic programming of Nickelodeon or the films of Tim Burton, which I loved, and still enjoy. Who knows? In any case, I consider this book my first dot. Dot #1.
2. Years later in high school, I realized that in order to attend college, I would need to figure out how to pay for it. For me, securing funds to cover the cost of college tuition was equally important to being accepted to a quality school. As a result, I applied for scholarships, crafting essays and short answers to highlight my strengths. With the support of my guidance counselor and family, I went on to earn many awards, including a full-tuition award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. My ability to write well helped me to secure these awards. Dot #2.
3. At Howard University, I studied French, which gave me a nuanced understanding about the complexity of language, fomenting an appreciation for communication and the beauty of words. Studying a language also opened my eyes to the world, not just the contiguous walls of the United States. Technology has skewed the lines of local and global, and while Pangea no longer exists, I would say that, in a metaphorical sense, the world is fast-becoming a super-Continent where the Internet and other forms of technology erase borders. So as Turns of Phrase grows and evolves, I would love to work with individuals overseas and foreign entities in the United States. I would also like to add translation as well. Dot #3.
4. While pursuing an artistic goal in New York, dance, I worked many temp jobs, from writing for a small business to interpreting at an elementary school to freelancing at a technology summit. Seeing the dots connect, I wondered if I could start my own business writing for others. I subsequently subscribed to the newsletters of companies focused on content and successful freelancers to learn from others’ professional paths and advice. Dot #4.
5. I moved back to Atlanta in late 2014—New York City is expensive. With the goal of starting a business, I built my portfolio for six months. I reached out to individuals to interview and wrote pieces about the Atlanta Streetcar, conducting a scholarship search, and how to turn a hobby into a business. In the summer of 2015, I filled out the necessary paperwork, purchased a license, and registered my DBA as Turns of Phrase. The name itself is a play on words. It is a reference to the idiomatic expression, a reference to dance, and a reference to music. I played piano for many years, and turns are a type of musical flourish. Dot #5.
Turns of Phrase only makes sense looking back, not forward, which is why the Steve Jobs quote fits so well. I admire entrepreneurs and their ability to build and idea into existence. I would like to do the same with Turns of Phrase, working with others to bring their ideas to life through my writing.
I am currently working with the Technology Association of Georgia, Digital Ignition, covello, Allied Logistics, and Bantunium Labs. I would love to work with more individuals and companies to bring their voices to the forefront on the written page.
If you would like to learn more about my work, I invite you to check out my website at www.turnsofphrase.com. I would love to work with you!
Also, Facebook likes and Twitter followers are always appreciated. Please feel free to “like” my Facebook business page at “Turns of Phrase” or follow me on Twitter at @turnsofphrase_. See you soon.