A History of A Storied Career

On May 12, 2005, I wrote my first blog post for my first blog, entitled A Storied Career – this blog! The blog was loosely tied to my PhD program, for which I had decided to write my dissertation about deploying storytelling in the job search (hence, the play on words of “A Storied Career”). It was while doing research for my program that I stumbled upon the field of “organizational storytelling,” which up to that point was completely unfamiliar to me.

As I recall, I had figured out some way to get some credit in my doctoral program for writing the blog. From 2005 to 2007 (when I graduated), I posted enough to get the credit, which was infrequently. (Amusingly, I notice a multi-month gap following a post entitled “Dissertation Blues.”) I posted only a handful of times in 2007.

By Feb. 1, 2008, I decided that I wanted to become a “World-Famous Blogger.” As part of my quest, I decided to blog 7 days a week. I more-or-less kept up that commitment through 2012. I didn’t miss a single day between Feb. 1, 2008, and June 6, 2009, and not many between June 7, 2009, and Aug. 10, 2012, when the decline began. I felt I reached my goal on a small scale; I was not famous to a huge and diverse global audience, but I was reasonably well-known in the world of applied storytelling (a broader term than organizational storytelling) as a competent curator.

Blogging tapered off in 2013 and 2014. New commitments had entered my life. I was attempting to launch myself as an online college instructor. I had also joined – and become obsessed with – the Toastmaster organization. In 2014, I embarked on a fairly intense three-year leadership commitment in Toastmasters. I had less time for blogging.

I reasoned that I especially had less time for a pursuit that was a labor of love but that had never netted me more than pocket-change in terms of revenue. I loved the blog, but I had never figured out how to make any money with it beyond a few sales of my own books and some affiliate sales. The last time I posted was December 10, 2014, a guest post I didn’t even write.

Sometime around 2018, some jerk infected the blog with ransomware and kept trying to get me to pay to remove it, which I had no intention of doing. I hated losing the blog, even though it was inactive. The notion of fixing it was complicated by the fact that my ex-husband was still hosting the blog on a hosting service he paid for.

A few months ago, I engaged my favorite tech guru (who is also my first cousin and lifelong BFF) to move A Storied Career, along with a few other sites, from the ex’s hosting service to my hosting service, which would also enable her to also remove the ransomware.

Mission accomplished, except a few things had been lost in the transition. Such as almost every image I had ever published on the blog. Most of the internal links were bad. I had done a series of 100 Q+A interviews with story practitioners, none of which showed up. Thankfully, I am a data-hoarder, so I still had all the original files.I am undecided about whether I will ever go back to posting on this blog, but I do feel the archived blog is a valuable artifact of the applied-storytelling world at a certain moment in history. So, I have at least decided to rehab the archived blog by re-inserting images in some 1,600 posts, re-creating the Q+A files, and fixing as many of the bad links as I can. I calculated that the images alone would take me 27.5 days if I fix 50 posts a day (which takes 1.5-2 hours). I am also updating outdated/inoperative embed code for slideshows and videos. The first phase of this rehab project ended up taking a week longer than I estimated but is done, though it doesn’t include re-creating the Q+A files and fixing bad links.

I have deleted a few outdated posts but retained many others because I felt it would be interesting to look back at applied-storytelling trends, events, apps, Web sites, practitioners, and more that have come and gone since the blog’s 2005 founding.

I generated 2.5 books from the blog. The first was a collection of the first set of Q+A interviews I did with story practitioners. Next was a workbook sequel to the popular-press book that came out of my dissertation, Tell Me About Yourself: Storytelling to Get Jobs and Propel Your Career; the workbook was entitled Tell Me MORE About Yourself and contained many enhancements, first published in the blog, to story concepts from Tell Me About Yourself. The half a book was to be a new edition of Storied Careers: 40+ Story Practitioners Talk about Applied Storytelling, which was to contain all 100 of the Q+A interviews conducted on the blog’s pages. That project, occurring near the end of my active time on the blog, got bogged down in trying to get permission from all the practitioners to reprint their Q+As in the revised book, as well as many practitioners who wanted to go back and update what they had said earlier in their Q+As. It’s not out of the question that I would revive that project, but it seems unlikely.