This installment of Writer Spotlight begins with a salute to two computer scientists — Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn — whose groundbreaking work led to the creation of the Internet. This seems deserving of a shout-out, because it’s quite remarkable that we can purchase a birthday gift, pay bills, and watch the cuddly pandas at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, all without leaving our couches.
The Internet also makes the world a little smaller, giving Crowd Content writers, editors and project managers a digital space to gather no matter where they live. We’ve connected with freelancers around the globe because of this unique ability to cross oceans and continents with a click.
One of our most active writers, Australia’s Brianna Ford, is the subject of this month’s Writer Spotlight. Better known as Kaia in real life, she spent time chatting with us about writing, traveling and where she found one of the best bacon cheeseburgers in the United States. Let’s get to it.
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Kaia is originally from the beautiful city of Adelaide on the Australian coast. She takes full advantage of the flexibility of Crowd Content and the Internet to work from different locales. Before the pandemic hit, she spent a few years house-sitting in a variety of destinations, mostly in South Australia. With travel now on hold, she’s living with her parents until people take holidays again and she can resume her own travels.
Kaia began her writing career early. “I wrote my first short story at five,” she says. “It was about my Cabbage Patch Kids’ adventure at the circus.” Creating imaginary worlds has always been her preferred type of writing, but, she says, “I haven’t written any fiction in years.” This must mean we’re keeping her too busy, but perhaps this chat will inspire her to revisit the craft. It’s time for a Cabbage Patch Kids sequel, perhaps?
Kaia worked in an administration role before putting her writing skills to work as a tech writer for a government project. She credits a good, old-fashioned Google search for helping her find Crowd Content.
We casually ask her what she likes about our platform. Okay, we fish for a compliment, but she cheerfully obliges. Kaia credits “the people, the great projects and a willingness to help writers become better and achieve success” as the best features of the platform. When we inquire if there’s anything she’d change, she answers, “With the new auto-save feature, I feel like all my wishes came true!” Kudos to our technical team for that one.
Kaia writes a broad range of copy, including snappy product descriptions and captivating blog posts. She pitches in on whatever our project managers need help with, but she looks back fondly on one client in particular. “I really enjoyed the Link Business project, which finished quite a while ago. I always learned something new,” Kaia says. “It was also fun researching something for them and discovering a past article of mine was in the top Google results.”
While Kaia has successfully found her niche at Crowd Content, we know some of you are just starting out and looking for tips to make an impact here. She serves up this advice: “Listen to the editors and project managers. They want to help you get better.” And, if you feel nervous or intimidated about picking up a new order, Kaia suggests going for it. “Jump into projects, because there’s a lot of great work.” It’s true. We all started somewhere.
Now that we have a sense of what Kaia is really like, it’s time to shift this Writer Spotlight into high gear with the lightning round.
Do you have any hobbies or unusual interests? “I cross-stitch and plan to learn crochet this year. I also do CrossFit.”
Who is your favorite author? What’s your favorite book? “That changes pretty regularly, but Cory Doctorow is probably my favorite author at the moment. My favorite book isn’t one of his, though. It’s World War Z, by Max Brooks.”
What’s your favorite TV show or movie? “I don’t really have one.” (Have you tried 24?)
What do you find most challenging about writing content? “Finding new ways to say the same thing.”
Where do you write (office, outside, coffee shop, etc.)? “Mostly at my desk in my home office, but I do like to go write at the library a couple of times a month.”
What’s your favorite restaurant or meal? “I like a good bacon cheeseburger, and last time I was in the U.S. I had one in every city I visited to discover the best.” For those of you wondering which city earned the honors, it was Kingman, Arizona, on the famed Route 66.
Complete this sentence: When I’m not working, I love to… “When I’m not working, I love to read. Or cook.”
What are the five worst words in the English language? “Cut 100 words from the piece. It always makes the piece better, but it’s hard choosing what to delete.”
Speaking of which, my word count runneth over, so this seems a good place to wrap up. Kaia, I look forward to your Cabbage Patch Kids trilogy. Yes, I suggested a sequel earlier, but I’m upping the stakes and confident you can do it. We’ll go for a bacon cheeseburger when you’re done.
There are so many of you writers who keep Crowd Content happily buzzing. This edition of Writer Spotlight may be over, but we’ll be back soon with a provocative profile of yet another freelancer. Maybe it’ll be you!