While he may no longer be with us, we feel that our ex-editor, Adam, deserves a little shout out. Originally coming from the rainy north of England, Adam moved to Budapest when realizing his work as an online-based writer and editor could lead him anywhere. While he can be a little overzealous about restricting the use of commas or in correcting ‘less’ to ‘fewer’, Adam isn’t actually as serious as he might initially make himself seem. Self-confessed to be addicted to both coffee and travel, he could list a number of cafes worth visiting in most of Europe’s major capitals, especially if you need to get some work done…
Where does your passion for online media come from?
I’ve spent the majority of my decade-long career working online, so I guess you could say it’s just a part of me now. What interests me the most are the metrics and understanding how you can change the way you write and present content to more effectively keep the reader interested. Unlike print-based media where the reader has typically purchased the product and is therefore invested in reading the content for entertainment, online media is more about finding ways to first captivate the reader and then to keep them interested long enough for them to find the information they’re looking for. It’s a tricky balance between entertainment and info, and finding that sweet spot is what I enjoy the most.
Can you tell us a bit more about the novel you’re writing?
Like any budding novelist, there are countless tales to tell. The one I’m trying to focus on the most I describe as a ‘thirty-something coming of age’ and it’s sort of a fictionalized recounting of the dramatic change in personality that can happen through self-discovery when traveling the world and trying new things. It’s an exploration of how people grow and change, and how there are so many pressures on us these days to know what we want, who we are, and to become a success at everything at such a young age.
Outside of that, I also like to enter the odd short story or travel writing competition. I’ve not won one yet, but they’re good opportunities to think and write in a way that I wouldn’t normally. It forces me to get out of my comfort zone as a writer and that can only make me a better in the long run. I hope.
How do you deal with a writer’s block?
I’m not sure I’ve ever really had writer’s block, per se, at least not that I can remember. I’ve been writing professionally for a decade, and when it’s your daily job to write entertaining copy – often about topics that aren’t always the most compelling to you personally – you soon learn that the important thing when dealing with a lack of inspiration is to just write. The hard part is the first hurdle, and once you start writing you’ll soon find yourself getting back into the swing of things. You can always go back and edit that initial bit of writing when you’re feeling more inspired, anyway. But if I am struggling to concentrate on writing, then these days I change my scenery by working in a cafe or going for a walk with my dog.
Do you have some advice for those looking to become an online content writer?
The key thing is to just write and read as much as you can. Specializing in a particular industry can be helpful at first since you’ll have knowledge that will give you and advantage, but more than anything you need to make sure that the quality of your writing is as high as it can be. Like with anything, writing is a skill that only gets better the more you do it, so practice, write as much as you can about as many things as you can, and read other examples to get inspiration for what works and what doesn’t.
What did you consider the most important aspect of your role with clovio?
I’d like to say that it was setting the tone of voice and style for the content that was created since I think that’s crucial to any multi-brand media company, but I suppose the most significant thing I did was education. Many of our writers weren’t native English and though they were eager to learn, there’s no ignoring the fact that they just didn’t have the same instinctive understanding of the language that any native might. I’m proud of how much our writers grew while I was at clovio and of course that’s primarily down to their willingness to improve, but without the education that I provided they perhaps wouldn’t have managed to so easily.
What does your ideal work setup look like?
I’ve commandeered the kitchen table as my workspace and I have to admit that I can let it get a little cluttered from time to time. Typically I’ll have some music playing in the background, but I always try to pick a genre that fits my mood at the time and play something I haven’t heard before. This way I’ll be into the music and can discover something new – which is important to me – but I won’t be able to get too into it because it won’t be familiar to me. Ideally there’d be a nice cup of coffee sitting nearby, but if not then I’ll likely head out to one of Budapest’s many coffeeshops to solve that problem.
What did you like the most about working remotely?
I’m not the sort of person who likes to be constrained or micromanaged, so for me the freedom (and trust) to work when I want was highly motivating. Since I might suddenly be struck by inspiration for a new short story, knowing that I could just drop everything to write something non-work related and catch up on the lost time elsewhere was hugely valuable to me. It was also helpful for my dog Frankie, since I was able to take her for the long walks she needs when the weather permitted. Flexibility is key to a good work/life balance, I believe.
How do you like to relax after a busy day of creating content?
Though it happens less often these days now that I have a dog, sitting down to play a strategy or puzzle game that gets me thinking is the way I like to entertain myself. It stimulates my mind yet still relaxes me, and I don’t end up feeling I’ve wasted time like I might if I just sat down to watch Friends on Netflix for the fifteenth time. I try to do sports when I can, such as running around Margaret Island or going rock-climbing, but I have to admit that I’m not exactly the athletic type. I’m also a huge fan of cooking, so usually I spend my free time cooking meals and baking tasty treats. I like to find new and different recipes I’ve never made before and try not to eat sugar, which is an especially interesting challenge to overcome when baking cakes and pastries.
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