What am I doing?

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Ever since I left my museum job, people have been asking me, “So, what are you doing now?”

I’ve found it difficult to answer succinctly.

“I’m working on a writing project that I hope will turn into a book.”
(The writing project is currently housed here: http://thelifeworkblog.com/ )

“Oh! What are you writing about?”

The short answer is, “An oral history project about women’s life paths.”

The long answer, and the backstory, is this:

About two years ago, I met a friend for lunch and learned the interesting path of her career, of which I had been completely ignorant.

I began thinking about the stories behind the lives and careers of other people I know, and about how we tend to see each other only as we are today. Our previous lives and experiences become erased. The pathways that led us to where we are now, when revealed, are often a surprise.

With encouragement from my sister, I decided to begin a project to document and describe and share unique stories of career paths. I narrowed the scope of the project to focus on women’s stories, since I think women have much different societal pressures affecting their life paths as compared to men, and I believe women’s stories are less often told. I think these pathway stories can be incredibly useful as learning tools for other women as they chart their own life paths.

I found a few models for the project, including Studs Terkel’s 1974 book “Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do” and the 2001 editor-curated “Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs.”

I set up a new blog, The Life Work Blog, with the idea that it would grow a readership and a fan base and enable me to get a book contract. Over the course of a year, I proceeded down a few dead ends, learned a few things and further sharpened the focus of my project.

Which all leads me to where I am today: needing to make the ask.

So, friends, here it is:

I need your help.

I need your encouragement that this project I’m undertaking is worthwhile.

I need your readership, comments and ideas for “food for thought” posts on The Life Work Blog.

I need accountability and a push to add content to the blog regularly (perhaps one new interview and two “food for thought” posts a week).

I need constructive criticism and resources, so I can improve as I go and make this book thing happen.

But most of all, I need a cadre of women willing to allow me to record them in an interview and share their stories.

I am looking for a diverse range of women to interview, of various professions, age groups, socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities and regions of the country. Sure, I will need a few “famous” people to interview, but the bulk of the interviews will be with “regular” women. One of the difficulties I’ve run into so far is women saying “my story is boring – it’s not important.” Pardon, but, BALONEY! Each and every one of you has a story to tell, and it may be your unique, ordinary story that is just exactly the story that someone else out there needs to hear.

Would you or someone you know be willing to share an hour or two of your time and be a part of The Life Work Blog project? If so, please contact me via email (kt AT ktbradshaw DOT com). I can send you more details about the interview process

Onward and upward!

Copyright 2016 by Katie Bradshaw

 

 

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