Stories interconnect people. They create empathy and help us understand each other better.
In the past 14 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of subject matter experts in the worlds of art, technology, and business. Through copywriting, strategy sessions, consulting, and training, I’ve helped them tell their stories in the form of books, (scientific) articles, essays, opinion pieces, online content, and videos. I’ve (co-)ghostwritten and edited nonfiction and fiction books for published authors and scientists. Many clients have asked me to write scripts for shorts, documentaries, and animated videos. These are often part of comprehensive storytelling projects, which I sometimes help set up from scratch.
The clients I work with
My clients come from all walks of life. They include entrepreneurs, C-level and senior executives, (content) marketers, scientists, writers, artists, journalists, and content creators. I’ve worked with corporations such as Microsoft and Big Five consulting firms, but also with individual professional storytellers.
Here’s what my clients have in common: they’re subject matter experts who want to create, innovate, learn, reflect, and contribute to a better world. And to do those things, they aim to build thought leadership—which is where I come in. I help them unearth their stories, create and implement storytelling and content strategies, and build genuine connections with the right audience.
Research (on the go)
What I love about the people I work with is that they are pleasant human beings who have innovative ideas, views, and perspectives. Every client I’ve worked with has taught me something. And, like them, I believe humans are (or should be) on a life-long learning journey. Even then, we’ll only discover a tiny fraction of all the knowledge available to us.
This is the main reason why research is usually part of my approach. As I’ve learned, research can take many shapes. It may involve reading, interviewing, observing, and taking trips. Time and again, it introduces me to new people, worlds, and stories.
I’ve also developed a method I call ‘research on the go,’ which helps you tell better stories faster. If you can carve out 30 minutes a day, I’ll teach you how to enrich existing stories and create an endless source of inspiration for new ones.
My professional journey
While majoring in cultural anthropology and development sociology, I took extracurricular philosophy, writing, and film classes. In my freshman year, I landed a job as a professor’s research assistant. Soon, I was introduced into the world of professional writing, editing, and storytelling.
Fast-forward to a year later: I took on my first writing assignment. The deadline was insane, but I like a good challenge. The summarized version: I wrote 175 pieces in 18 days, the client was happy, one assignment led to another, and when I graduated, I had a writing career.
Besides helping clients build thought leadership, I work on my own stories. In my early years I got to work on a few documentaries, one of which I co-directed under the guidance of an Amnesty International Award-winning director. He taught me a lot about the visual elements of storytelling. In the years that followed, I increasingly focused on writing.
I’ve taken several classes to hone my writing skills—for example, at Catapult, Gotham Writers Workshop, and Grubstreet. In 2012, I was a finalist in one of Script Pipeline’s contests, and I’ve completed several writing mentorship programs since.
I was a finalist in the 47th New Millennium Writing Awards. My work has appeared on Thrive Global and is forthcoming on Pipeline Artists. The latter platform has also asked me to teach a seminar on enriching and speeding up the storytelling process through research.
Working one on one with experienced authors, producers, and screenwriters has taught me a lot about the craft of storytelling. I continue to apply these lessons in life and work.
If you’re wondering what’s next, the boring answer is, “I don’t know.” Because no matter how many plans you make (and I do make plans), life has a tendency to surprise you. That said, I’ve increasingly ventured into teaching and coaching, so I’ll likely continue to launch masterclasses and courses.
I’m also working on a literary novel that, perhaps unsurprisingly, requires a lot of research. To lift a corner of the veil, in my creative writing, I like to explore the human experience in all its facets. Through stories, I hope to make the abstract more tangible. Much of my writing zooms in on the individual to try and discover something about human nature—whether that relates to how we give meaning to life or why we make certain choices.
That’s also the main reason why I’ve created Existential Chapters, free letters that explore life’s major questions and make them more tangible through reflections, real-life (hi)stories, guided exercises, concrete tips, and questions.
The (somewhat) personal stuff
A bio isn’t a bio without some personal details. So, here are a few facts about me that’ll give you an idea of how I like to go through this life:
- I’ve played the guitar for 28 years (and had lessons for 10 years).
- I’m a fierce notebook collector.
- I’m a serial notetaker.
- I take written and mental notes.
- Which is why my friends joke about “the transcript in my head.” (They believe I have a photographic memory. If anyone wants to know when and where they’ve told me that, I’m happy to create a list. Said transcript contains the answers.)
- Physical books make me happy. E-books? Not so much.
- If you ever run into me, chances are it’ll be at a bookstore.
- You’re most likely to find me in any of the following departments: Philosophy, Fiction, History, or Science.
- If I’m not there, try the bookstore café.
- Or a theatre. I believe there’s something magical about sitting in a room full of strangers, enjoying the same work of art.
- I love taking in the sights and sounds of life during long walks.