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Genue Inc.
October 17, 2017

Get to Know Genue: Rachel

Massachusetts-native Rachel is a freelance writer and editor, with a focus in feature articles, copy editing, and brand consulting. After navigating a few career changes, Rachel has always come back to her love for writing, which is how she found her way to Genue. Read on to learn why Rachel loves interviewing up-and-coming artists, what she does when she’s feeling inspired, and more about what her role at Genue…

 

 

Can you tell me a little bit about your role at Genue?

At Genue, I help manage the blog as the digital editor, but I’m also the social media manager, but I primarily manage our Instagram account, while other team members operate Facebook and Pinterest. Even though I love writing and feel most comfortable expressing myself through words, my mind is very analytic and strategic, and I think my roles at Genue perfectly marry those interests. Running social media means I get to read about analytics and trends and stay up to date regarding how the technology is changing, and as digital editor, I get to help brainstorm story ideas, copyedit and write my own stories, while at the same time thinking about how our content exemplifies our voice and enhances our brand.

 

 

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

I love writing the Genuinely You articles each month. I get to interview amazing artists and creatives – most of whom are young and just starting to figure out the complexities of their trade and careers. My favorite part is contacting the artist because most of them say something like, “wait—me? You want to interview me?” and I get to respond with an emphatic “yes!” which is the best part.  I think most people, myself included, have a hard time seeing the value in what they do, and I love being able to reinforce to people that what they make and create is incredible and the world deserves to see it. It’s also really fun writing the interview because so often I as I’m writing, I also think: “me too!”  I think that’s what makes writing really good —the ability to relate to others.

 

 

Outside of your role at Genue, what kind of writing do you do?

While doing my graduate work, it was really difficult to make time to write and work on projects that I cared about personally, because so much of my time and energy was devoted to meeting the various writing requirements for my graduate work. What I love about writing for Genue is the faster turn-around time—I get to write a lot more and it changes often, which keeps things interesting. Now that I have a little bit more flexibility without graduate school, I try to write every day for about an hour. Sometimes that is writing for Genue, sometimes it’s an article to pitch to other digital media platforms, sometimes something else entirely. But if I’ve learned anything, writing requires incredible amounts of discipline.  Sitting down every day and just writing is sometimes the hardest part.

 

 

Who are your favorite writers?

As a woman writing on the internet in 2017, I’m inspired by others who are doing the same:  Joanna Goddard and her team at Cup of Jo, Ann Friedman, Aisha Muharrar, Shauna Niequist, and Caroline Rector. They inspire me and influence my writing immensely. And then there are people like Anne Lamott, who writes about writing, and constantly reminds me that writing is a process, it is hard and messy, and requires copious disciple. I’ve probably read Bird by Bird 10 times through and still reference it often. I could go on and on, but I think these individuals have influenced me most profoundly in my later years, as I’ve transitioned into figuring out who I am and want to be as a writer.

 

 

When do you feel more inspired? And what do you do when inspiration is lacking?

I feel most inspired by people and their stories. I’m really introverted, so I thrive having one-on-one conversations, and I love hearing people talk about their lives.  When I don’t feel inspired, I write. I force myself to sit at the computer and I just write until I have something to say. There’s a lot of misconception that great writers feel inspired as soon as they get out of bed in the morning, but good writing happens because of discipline. Pushing through the mundane and writing and rewriting until you find something that’s good—that’s what I do when I’m not feeling inspired.

 

 

Do you have any daily rituals or rhythms? How do they fit into a typical day for you?

I really enjoy slow mornings and I like to get up early. I usually get up around 6, drink my coffee and try to write. Whether I write for myself or write for Genue, the morning is usually the best time of the day to write. Then I exercise at some point every day. Whether it’s a walk or yoga or something with weights, it is something that makes me feel grounded and strong. Otherwise, no day really looks like next. I like that currently my schedule is pretty flexible so I can work when I feel most productive, but also take a walk at 2pm if I need to.

 

 

How do you define success?
I define success as being at a place where you’re able to live out your values.  Everyone has different values so success will look different for everyone. I think that’s the most important thing I’m learning—success doesn’t look like one thing.  It could mean having a big house and a lot of disposable income, but for me, it means being financially sufficient enough to have flexibility in my day to day life, as well as doing something I love. I enjoy freelancing because I can work from home and work alone—that might not always be the case, but that is what success looks like for me now. Success also means being courageous enough to change your course if you’re unhappy. If you make a lot of money but you’re miserable, that doesn’t equate to success for me.

 

 

Do you have an overall design or maker philosophy?
I’m not a very talented designer—I design and create more with my words I guess—but I’m all about designing and creating something authentic. The things you create and put your name on should be a reflection of you—whether that’s simple and geometric or quirky and bubbly or elegant and timeless. I try to make sure that the things I write stay true to me, and I think that extends even further out to the kinds of work I put my name on and help contribute to.

 

Photo by Michelle Scott Photography

 

What does it mean to be genuinely you?

Being genuinely you means being able to stand up for who you are and what you want, even if that’s not the “norm” or if you’re criticized for it. I’ve made a lot of choices in my life that other people haven’t always agreed with, and I constantly struggle with not letting other’s opinions define me. But I am so attracted to people—friends, co-workers, significant others—who are just themselves, no matter what, and I try hard to surround myself with people like that so I can be inspired to be more of myself—my truest self—every day.

 

Thanks so much, Rachel!

 

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Hannah Grace

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Hannah Grace Smith is a freelance artist and writer. She is a recent graduate of Mount Ida College, where she received her BA in fashion design. Her whimsical designs for women and children have a surreal-but-cute style.

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