By Justine Clay
Welcome to my over-fifty series!! As some of you may recall, I wrote a newsletter a few months ago about what being over-fifty means to your creative career. I had such a nice response to the newsletter that I decided to put together a series of interviews with creative talent that have thriving freelance careers and just happen to be over-fifty.
We’re going to kick off our series with Copywriter and Blogger, Laura Silverman. I’ve known Laura for the best part of 10 years and she continues to inspire me. As a copywriter she’s developed brand voices for a host of clients that range from Bergdorf Goodman, Saks and Tiffany & Co. to Target and Green Depot. She’s also the woman behind the amazing blog, ‘Glutton for Life’. Inspired by her life with husband, G in Sullivan County, Glutton for Life is a guide to creating “a life of truly shameless indulgence”.
* Warning: this blog post includes envy-inducing shots by Michael Mundy of Laura’s gorgeous home!
Justine: Laura, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on being a creative professional and over 50. Let’s start by getting down to the nitty gritty – how old are you?
JC: How would you describe yourself as a creative professional?
LS: I’d describe myself as a Copywriter and Creative Strategist. Also Idea Generator, Brand Builder, Storyteller, Brain Trust. People come to me for big-picture thinking, for my personal aesthetic and for my experience with upscale fashion and lifestyle brands.
JC: You started a blog in 2010. What was the inspiration for that?
LS: I launched Glutton for Life in 2010. Moving upstate and living in nature led to a real creative blossoming. It was also a wonderful chance to share my passions for cooking, gardening, foraging, traveling and optimum health – a lifestyle of truly shameless indulgence – with the world.
JC: How did you go about getting started?
LS: I just started writing, exploring what was already out there in the blogosphere, and really searching within for what I would be happiest working on.
JC: Were you at-all intimidated by the things that you didn’t know e.g. technological/design/social media aspects?
LS: Not so much. I looked at it more as an interesting and fun challenge. If you’re curious and willing to teach yourself, the information is all out there. Also, I love to quote David Mamet: “What one man can do, another can do.”
JC: What have you done to build your brand and grow your readership?
LS: Some promos; a holiday pop-up shop; editorial writing on related subjects in magazines and journals. I don’t think I do enough social media networking, but I’m working on it. I have really loyal followers and get a few new subscribers each week. Bit by bit it’s growing.
JC: What has inspired/delighted/amazed you most about this venture?
LS: Discovering how endless my own curiosity is; how much fun it is to explore; and engaging and connecting with kindred spirits – chefs, purveyors, fellow bloggers, people interested in food, cooking, nature and healthy living.
JC: You’re still incredibly busy developing brand language for a range of clients. Would you say that your copywriting career and blog are two completely separate entities or do they complement one another?
LS: They are both extensions of me, so they are not entirely separate – and I definitely try to imbue all my writing with a certain integrity and beauty and lack of pretension. That said, when I write for clients it is strongly driven by their agenda and my blog is purely a reflection of my own.
JC: You’re creating a lot of content. How do you stay creatively inspired and engaged?
LS: I am very curious about the world, and I am constantly learning and exploring. I read a lot, I do a lot, I discover a lot. I try to keep up with current culture. And I’m interested in sharing that, and having a dialogue about it, with others. If I need inspiration, I’ll visit a museum, go to a market or restaurant. Or travel to a new country! I also love talking with people who have something to teach me.
JC: As you’ve gotten older has your perception of yourself changed? If so, how?
LS: Hmmm… I guess I have grown more confident and at the same time more humble. I know more and yet I see how much more there is to know.
JC: Do you think others perceive you differently? If so, how?
LS: Well, with age comes a certain wisdom or at least experience and this commands greater respect, but I’d be really hard-pressed to say how others perceive me. I try not to worry about that too much.
JC: Whom do you admire (over 50)?
LS: People who are actively changing and growing, and willing to speak about it. I love a blog called “this is fifty” that features inspiring women over 50. I adore the Canal House women – Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hersheimer – who are so engaged in what they do and so good at it. Jane Fonda, who talks about age as an ascending staircase rather than perceiving it as a downward spiral. I admire women who are willing to show their authentic faces – and hair color! I have a Pinterest board called Silverfoxes and it just keeps growing! Also, fellow copywriter Mark Welsh, for his unique voice and eternally youthful wit.
JC: What 3 words best describe how you feel about your work and life?
LS: Journey. Discovery. Joy.
JC: What do you have up your sleeve for the next decade?
LS: More writing, cooking, foraging, gardening, traveling and learning! And hopefully publishing some books about it!
Laura, thank you so much for chatting with us. It’s been lovely as always!
Next time we’ll be talking to, copywriter Mark Welsh. Stay tuned.