Viewing entries tagged
storytelling

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Sacramento, Share Your Stories with Me!

Sacramento, Share Your Stories with Me!

I'm excited to officially announce that I'm working with Comstock's magazine here in Sacramento on a monthly web series about those who have gone through major career shifts to get to where they are today. 

For example, the first installment was a story about a couple who worked their corporate jobs while opening (and now running) a new brewery

What constitutes a major career shift?

Well, it's simple. Let's say you went to culinary school only to end up working as a professional photographer. I'd like to hear your story. Perhaps you were a touring musician for 15 years and now help people with financial planning. I'd definitely like to talk with you. Maybe you left your job as a teacher to open a coffee shop. Please—by all means—email me.

Now, I know many of you reading this are not in the greater Sacramento region, but we live in such a small world. If you know anyone who lives in Sacramento (or the nine surrounding counties) and might be a good fit, send them my way!

I can't promise that everyone who emails me will be featured, but the only way for me to hear about interesting stories like the examples above is for people to share them with me.

Here's how to send me your story:

  • Send an email to jennifer@jenniferesnyder.com with the subject line: Career Shift.
  • Tell me your name and your current title and/or business name
  • Give me some quick specifics about your story: What was your major career shift? How did it happen? What caused you to make the change? 

That's it! Then, I'll respond and let you know if the story might be a good fit for the column. Sound good? Excellent. 

I can't wait to hear from you!


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10 CYOP Podcast Episodes You Haven't Downloaded Yet (But Should)

10 CYOP Podcast Episodes You Haven't Downloaded Yet (But Should)

In last week's Creative Digest (subscribe here, if you're not already on the list), I decided to switch things up a bit and offer some recommendations for those who listen to the Creating Your Own Path podcast. 

You see, certain episodes featuring interviewees who aren't super internet-famous simply aren't getting the love they deserve. So, in my weekly dispatch, I offered up three podcasts my subscribers may have missed. You can read the full email below:


When faced with too many choices in life, we often gravitate toward the familiar. You should see me at the grocery store. I find myself making a beeline for items I know will be delicious because I've had them before. They're slam dunks, those items-I-get-every-time. All the while, that fancy new flavored water is waving at me from the end cap. It's unproven. Unknown. So, I move along.
I know what you're thinking and I promise I'm not opposed to trying new things. I try new things all the time! It's just that familiar is simple—easy, even. It's human nature to go with what you know.
After two and a half years of podcasting, I've seen a trend in my listenership/download numbers. Some CYOP listeners are scrolling past the episodes featuring new-to-them interviewees. Instead, they're skipping right to the episodes with creatives they already know and love. They're sticking with what they know and leaving that fancy new flavored water for another day.
I get it. Leaning on the familiar is completely understandable. I've got 88 episodes in the archives and that is a lot of content to sift through. Not to mention, I interviewed those familiar, well-known creatives for a reason! I know and respect their work, they have so much wisdom to share, and their stories are inspiring regardless of how many times we've heard the narrative.
That said, I hope you'll to head on over to that fancy flavored water and pick up a case anyway. Why? Because exploring the unknown is good too. Hearing unfamiliar stories can lead to great ideas. New-to-you people become known entities if you let them.
That's why I've decided to share three interviews today that you may have missed over the last few years (but that are absolutely worth your time).

Because the response from subscribers was so lovely, I thought I'd expand upon my recommendations and offer 10 podcast episodes you may have missed:


Happy listening, my friends, and don't forget to sign up for the Creative Digest to get podcast episodes (and other goodness) sent right to your inbox!


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The Kindness of Others + the Power of Story

The Kindness of Others + the Power of Story // jenniferesnyder.com

There once was a woman named Susan. She discovered a podcast called Creating Your Own Path at a time when she was feeling "creatively dead" and listening to the episodes helped bring a little more inspiration to her life. Then suddenly, the show host decided to take an extended hiatus to figure out the logistics of traveling for the show and producing quality work. 

In he weeks following the announced break, the host posted on Instagram about a really great contest to win Lucille the travel trailer—a prize that would enable her to continue traveling to interview guests—and Susan got a wild idea:

She'd enter the contest on the show host's behalf!

Unbeknownst to the show host, Susan wrote a short essay about why the host deserved to win, paid the $30 contest entry fee and waited to hear who would ultimately take home Lucille the travel trailer.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be! The trailer went to a very sweet couple who will likely do amazing things and see incredible places.

Susan, saddened by the news, reached out to the show host to let her know she was thinking good thoughts about the continuation of Creating Your Own Path and that she'd even entered the contest with the show host in mind.

The show host—whose name is Jennifer, by the way—was shocked. Sitting at at her dining room table staring at the message on her tiny mobile screen, she began to sob. It wasn't a good look for Jennifer (she's a bit of an ugly crier), but she couldn't stop. Susan's kind gesture not only showed Jennifer what it meant to do something so selfless and kind, but it also made clear the fact that her work on the show had meaning. Creating Your Own Path, a tiny podcast that was created to help bring people together through story, was reaching the people who needed to hear it.

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Susan is a real person, you guys. That story up there actually transpired a few weeks ago.

Her actions brought forth so many feelings and I had to share with you all the impact it's had on me. Kind gestures—big or small—are incredibly powerful and I must say: I want to be more like Susan when I grow up.

As you may already know, the show will continue. Susan's incredibly kind act, along with all of the encouraging words from her fellow Creating Your Own Path listeners, made me realize that I couldn't throw in the towel simply because this year's logistics (less travel, more remote interviews) would look different from last year's logistics (lots of solo travel that allowed me to meet people face-to-face). I simply had to figure out a way to continue the show in a more sustainable way.

See? Powerful stuff, right? 

My hope, in my quest to be more like Susan, is to continue supporting those whose work makes me feel things, makes me think, makes me wonder. I wish I could have everyone who is creating amazing work on my show RIGHT NOW. There are so many great stories out there waiting to be shared. However, if I can't have those good folks on the show, I'm going to share their work with my people, buy or invest in their work as soon as I'm able, leave encouraging words on their Instagram feed, leave a review of their projects or businesses and see if I can connect them with others who are doing great work. 

Kind gestures don't have to be grand to make an impact, but they do—by definition—require action. And those stories? Well, stories don't have to be extraordinary to hold power, but they do—by definition—need to be shared. That's what Susan has taught me.

Let's all try to be more like Susan, my friends. 


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The Benefits of Being in the Same Room

The Benefits of Being in the Same Room

It's funny: I consider myself to be fairly socially awkward; yet, I find myself in social situations constantly. Having a traveling obsession, deciding to take my show on the road and saying yes to things like press trips will do that.

Last week: Detroit.

A few weeks prior: Seattle and Portland.

Several weeks before that: Los Angeles.

I was chatting with a friend recently and she said with a smirk, "You know, you could just interview people over the phone." She's completely right, of course. It's not that I'm against it—I'm a big fan of leaning on technology to get the job done.

However, as much as I'm up for using the tools at hand, I find there's just no replacement for sitting down across the table from another human being and having a conversation.

It doesn't really matter with whom I speak or what the topic might be. Watching the edges of a friend's mouth creep up into a smile as they talk about their work; having a front row seat to a break-through or simply allowing one another the silence it takes to form a thought is absolutely worth the extra effort. 

So I intend to continue making an effort. I've got some big plans for my show in the coming months, my friends, and I cannot wait to sit at many more tables, listen to dozens of stories and share them with you.

Stay tuned.


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Why I'm Compelled to Share Stories

Ever since leaving my full-time office job, I've had trouble defining what it is I do for a living. I often find myself reducing my job title to "writer and editor" since that seems to easily describe what I do most often. Yet, my days consist of so many other activities: I write podcast scripts, chat with people for assignments, record and edit audio and I often use video and photography as a way to help tell stories.

Storytelling. That's really what I do for a living. 

I can't even begin to explain how rewarding it is to share both my own stories and the stories of others in various online and print spaces. There's a vulnerability involved in telling your story—in being open and honest—yet once we take that step, we're free. That story is no longer lurking under cover. Instead, it's out in the world where others can see it, hear it and feel it.

And let me tell you, friends—that's where the good stuff happens. Out in the open is where "me too" and "I've been there" come to play. When we share the good, the bad, the trials, the tips, the advice and everything else in between, we connect with others in a way we never thought possible.

Now, that's not to say that the stories always come easily. They're often incredibly difficult to coax out of hiding and it takes even longer to get them ready for public consumption. The other day, in fact, I sat for hours in front of a blank screen and notepad trying to get a story started. Nothing came of it, but shortly after packing it in for the day I received an email from a complete stranger thanking me for the stories I share in this space, on the podcast and elsewhere.

Please note that this rarely happens. My readership is teeny tiny compared to others out there so getting reader/listener emails isn't exactly commonplace. Yet, one email is all it really took to get the inspiration rolling again. Because, let's face it—though a story unheard is still worth telling, a story heard and felt and understood is pure magic.

Here's to both telling and hearing all the stories our little hearts can handle, friends.


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