Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Venture: Chipman Creative

A few months ago, I decided to make a giant leap... one without a safety net. I decided to leave my 13+ year teaching career and try something new. I loved teaching. I still love teaching. But I have so many, many passions. I figured it was about time to see if I could turn some of those other passions into something... bigger.

I've been a writer ever since I was a child. In high school, I wrote my first novel-- forever lost in the great Macintosh Crash of '96. In college, I wrote melancholy poetry (who didn't?) but was chosen to study with the late, great, wicked Kenneth Koch all four years, so I must have had "something." I majored in English at Columbia, and I got my Master's in English from the University of New Orleans. I'd completed close to half of my credits for an MFA in Fiction at UNO, when the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina blew me to Louisville.

As a teacher, my passion was working with students on their writing. In my extracurricular life, writing has been my constant. I've been to countless writing workshops, retreats, and residencies. And as a result of being a teacher and student of writing for so very long, I've become a crack editor, proofreader, and writing coach.

I've parlayed those skills into freelance writing and editing work over the past decade-plus, but in a very spotty, haphazard way. Shortly after college, I ghost-wrote a YA horror novel that was published by Harper Collins (thankfully, long out of print). I edited a self-help book written by a businessman/race car driver. For years, I was the go-to editor for an annual $52million+ government grant application by a financial company in New Orleans. I've been writing freelance for The Louisville Paper off and on since the paper's inception.

When I took my giant leap, I knew part of that leap had to be finding some way to make this passion I have for writing and working with writers something more concrete.

So, welcome to the world, Chipman Creative, my new writing/editing/social media freelance business.

Storytelling has always been an integral part of my life. And I believe, passionately, that storytelling is becoming more and more integral to the decisions we make as consumers and to the way we market as businesses and brands.

When I talk to someone who has eaten at Harvest for the first time, usually the first thing they mention is what they thought of the meal. But what everyone talks about after that-- without fail-- are the gorgeous photos on the walls of the farmers who supply the raw ingredients of their meal. They talk about the giant map that tells them from which farm various ingredients are sourced. I have no ties to Harvest-- this is just an unveiled compliment. Harvest is doing it right. They're telling a fantastic story. And it's a story that builds loyalty and confidence.

I follow the blogs and tweets of my favorite businesses and brands. My loyalty soars when they tell me a good story or give me good, usable information. My heart sinks when their blogs or tweets are trite, ineffective, irrelevant, or full of errors.

In addition to standard writing and editing services, Chipman Creative offers ghost-blogging and ghost-tweeting subscriptions. I want to help you tell your story. Every business has a story to tell, whether you're a store, a restaurant, a lawyer, or a dentist. A well-written and researched blog or twitter feed can be an invaluable marketing tool.

If you follow this blog, you've been following my story and my brand... some of you for years. I hope you'll check out Chipman Creative and think of me when you have writing/editing/proofreading/social media needs.

Email me at lou [at] if you would like to see a rate sheet or my resume.

I'm super excited about this new venture. I look forward to working with you.

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