I started this blog in 2015 when I started my MBA in order to capture my thoughts, synthesise what I was learning, and use this activity to create useful content for thousands of people around the world who were also interested in digital brand strategy. Writing had for so long been my outlet, and this is where I let it out. I kept to the SEO best practices of focusing on relevant subjects, not straying too far from the central theme to make sure that I continued to grab traffic and interest from my (sporadic) readers.
But writing about business subjects and posting to Linkedin is only a small part of what I have written, and I’ve always struggled with how to get that part of my life out there. I’ve written a few full-length novels, three plays, and some epic poetry. These projects don’t easily cross paths with a successful career in digital strategy.
When covid hit I started using this blog as an emotional outlet, writing the daily dispatches series as we navigated the first waves of covid and their lockdowns. It was an outlet for the fear and frustration and boredom and intensity that afflicted all of us. In many ways it was the foundation that kept me sane.
As you may have noticed, the last time I posted on this blog was nearly a year ago. This is because on March 15th I finally realised a dream and started to work at Facebook, which is now Meta. As you may also have noticed, the cover image of my blog is me presenting at a conference in Amsterdam in front of an intro slide featuring Mark Zuckerberg and the title “The Opportunity.” After developing my career in digital, I had finally made it to the big leagues.
But this position makes it awkward to find the right angle to continue writing about digital brand strategy, and so I simply haven’t. I also haven’t had time to produce anything new, nor the mental bandwidth to try to develop ideas, be they fiction or non. And it’s a damn shame.
Yet the bigger shame is the fact that I have projects that I’ve been sitting on that have never seen the light of any sort of audience. Stories that I worked on for years, refining, gathering feedback, trying to package into something that could find its way on to a bookshelf. I always dreamed of getting a call back from an agent, working through the details, and being able to hold a copy of my book in my very hands and hold it up to the sky and say that I am a published author.
I have accepted that I will never take the steps to go that route. I have a family, a career, a life in a place where English is not the native language. But I want to tell these stories, and what a better way to do that than going to a place called Stories?
The New York Public Library pioneered this idea a few years ago, sharing some of the classics like Kafta’s Metamorphosis in Instagram Stories. I personally loved the way that it felt like reading on a Kindle but with color, GIFs, images: a recognisable style. The bite-sized portions made it quite easy to follow along, and the spread-out nature of the storytelling added a heightened sense of suspense.
Maybe I can do the same for the first novel that I completed, White Stone Black Glass. I’ll be posting roughly the equivalent of one A4-sized page per day, and see how it goes. I’ll start posting on Monday, February 14th, 2022. To read it, please follow me on Instagram: @tonyhymes.