Started in 2011 (formally as Blog Brilliantly) by Christine Gilbert, this community had a simple goal: give real world, practical advice to aspiring creatives that’s geared for the realities of the marketplace right now. How do you become a writer? How do you become a professional photographer? How do you get paid for doing video? How do you get to write, shoot, film or create AS YOUR JOB?
The global economy and the movement of media from print to digital has erased – no, BLOWN UP – the old methods of starting your creative career. It used to be that to become a writer, you just wrote, then sent inquires to publications and hoped. Not only has that world gone away, it’s swept away with it an entire generation of experienced writers who were flatly unwilling to change. When I started writing professionally in 2008, this was already starting to happen. I can’t tell you how many writers have completely quit being writers, after years of complaining about “new media”and refusing to take blogging, social media and emerging markets seriously. They had the talent to be published in the top magazines but because they couldn’t change, the industry moved on.
At the time, no one was talking about this! People continued to dole out writing, blogging, photography advice and completely ignored the fact that all of the working creatives who were at the top of their careers, were doing a different way.
Here’s what we’re talking about – THIS is how people who broke through in the last five years made it:
Brandon Stanton, born March 1, 1984 (age 32) – instead of becoming a photographer by sending in his photos to stock agencies or trying to get client work, he starts a Facebook page, Humans of New York, goes viral, travels around the world and publishes three books.
Chris Guillebeau, born April 4, 1978 (age 37) – he’s created an empire – and it’s all started with the blog. He built his audience, launched a book, a conference, more books, speaking engagements and more.
Glennon Doyle Melton, born March 20, 1976 (age 40) – started her writing career in 2009 with her blog momastery. Her first book became an NYT bestseller and she’s soared since then.
And our founder, Christine Gilbert, born February 27, 1977 (age 39) – used her blog to break into documentary filmmaking (raising over $50k along the way), got a book deal with Penguin Random House and became National Geographic Traveler of the Year – all while traveling around the world with her family.
As a former project manger for General Electric, Christine Gilbert is a rare creative that approaches projects with equal parts creativity and strategy—breaking down complex ideas into small, actionable steps.
Her forthcoming book MOTHER TONGUE, is being published by Penguin Random House, and she is the author of the popular blog Almost Fearless. She has co-directed a documentary, and in 2014 her and her family were named Travelers of the Year by National Geographic.