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Jill of all Trades

Or... 20/20 hindsight on trusting your instincts.

Long time no blog posts, right? I would apologize, but I wouldn’t mean it as I’ve been focusing my writing on writing the next book.

However, I’ve been feeling very Hannibal-ish lately–as in Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith from The A-Team. Which is to say, I love it when a plan comes together.

Way back when I was eighteen, I declared my college major to be Communications. Now, at my University, they then put you into a track—advertising, public relations, broadcast journalism, or print journalism. However, I didn’t specify and nobody blinked at it. So, off I went, taking a PR course here and a broadcast journalism course there.

When I was twenty, and about a year away from graduating, an advisor insisted I declare a track. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I really didn’t like this idea, and I knew I wasn’t the only student with a general communications major. However, with push coming to shove, I went with advertising as my ‘track.’ But I remember leaving his office irritated and disgruntled. Part of this I figured had to do with my inherent contrarian nature.

Fast forward to the last two or three years. One can write a fabulous book, but one still needs to know how to market it. One can know how to market that book, but still needs to know a thing or two about public relations and public perception. But the journalism courses—especially the Broadcast journalism courses—hadn’t proved useful in my recent author endeavors.

Until now.

Anytime I find myself up against a creative wall, hurdle, or roadblock, I turn to other creative outlets. (If I crocheted, I’d have at least a dozen scarves by now, I’m sure.) Ordinarily, I work on marketing graphics for my books, but recently that wasn’t doing the trick. For a few months, I had been toying with the notion of creating my own book trailers.

While book trailers don’t move the sales needle much for an indy author, they’re still cool and sexy. But, no matter how cool and sexy they are, it’s hard to justify the expense of a :30 to :60 second video when it isn’t likely to sell books.

However, putting one together myself intrigued me. And even though it took me some time, I realized, the semester of Video Journalism (way back when) actually had paid off–and not just because it got me backstage at the Jazz Festival–but because I already had the patience to edit my piece.

To quote Hannibal, “I love it when a plan comes together.” Even at twenty, I knew having a broad-based communications degree was for me. I just didn’t know why at the time, and I certainly didn’t know how it would apply so many years later.

So, if you think you should do something broad-based or you feel like the square peg being shoved into the round hole, listen to those instincts. You never know when that extra education or broad-based course-work will prove especially useful. And as always, education is something they can never take away from you.

If you want to see my trailer, you can watch it right here!


Hope you’re having a great summer…and I plan to have a few other blog posts this summer. 🙂

 Header photo credit: Ulrike Mai – Pixabay