I just realized that it’s been almost two months since I introduced you to an inspiring woman writer! Today, I got to speak with freelance writer and copy writer Carole Rosenblat, who, after growing up in Michigan and moving to Arizona 16 years ago, is currently selling her house “to be completely location independent.” How awesome is that? We chatted about her journey in writing and why her best adventures in life have some about with minimal planning. Take it away, Carole…
Name: Carole Rosenblat
Where are you from: Originally, Oak Park, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit). I left there to work on board sailing and cruise ships. Then landed in Florida for a bit. I moved to Arizona 16 years ago but am now selling my house to be completely location independent.
3 words to describe me: Quirky, Curious, Determined,
Website/Blog: Drop Me Anywhere and Rebel With A Cause
Tell me a bit about yourself…what do you do, what are your hobbies, etc.?
I’ve worked in travel and tourism most of my adult life. Travel has been both my vocation and avocation. I’ve worked on Windjammer sailing ships, on cruise ships, for Disney, as a camping/adventure tour guide, an international tour guide/manager, logistical manager of corp. meetings/events worldwide and, oh yeah, I was also the Director of Fun for a hotel.
I currently make my living writing articles for online and print magazines and for corporate clients, as well as some copywriting and tour design for clients. I also work as a tour director and guide around the world. I also give speeches around the world on travel locations, working in travel, female empowerment, non-traditional volunteering and doing your “one big thing.” Finally, I sold my car, furniture, and clothes and rented out my house to finance my around-the-world writing and volunteer project. I’m now selling my house to continue with my blog, write the book (hello? Any literary agents out there?) and plan a Female Empowerment Mission Summit (FEMS) as a direct result of the feedback I’ve received from women who have been inspired by my journey.
In my spare time (ha!) I’m a big reader! I love museums, and I love to simply wander around a new city and explore with no destination in mind. For exercise, I love to hike and practice yoga.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? Was it always something you wanted to do?
Hmmm, I don’t know the answer to that. I always loved writing in school but never thought of it as a career. It just sort of happened. I started a blog after applying to get a show with Oprah when she was starting the OWN Network. In order to promote my video application and receive more votes, I began a blog. Well, Oprah never called so I didn’t write anymore, because I never wanted to be a blogger. I soon began receiving emails from people asking how they could subscribe to the blog. So, in the interest of giving the people what they wanted, I continued.
A year-or-two later, I began a philanthropic blog Rebel With A Cause. The project had me driving across the U.S. (Arizona to Florida), interviewing people struggling in a tough economy and writing their stories. I then asked readers to vote to decide to whom I should give $1,000 to because, after recovering from my own difficult financial situation, I was now able to do this as well as pay it forward after others offered to help me.
About three years later, due to a series of life events, I started Drop Me Anywhere, which is about travel with minimal planning because that’s where I find my best adventures! In order for readers to know there would be minimal advanced planning, I invited them to vote on the destinations to which I’d travel and I’d leave within two weeks (sometimes within a day) of the end of the vote. Readers tend to return to read more as they’re now a part of the story, having chosen the location. They’re known as my Virtual Travel Buddies and I write and publish as I go (approx. 1,500 words per day while on location). As everything I do has a philanthropic element, I partnered Drop Me Anywhere with Rebel With A Cause and committed to volunteering in each location readers “dropped me.” While Drop Me Anywhere is informational travel humor, Rebel With A Cause is not humorous, but instead, tells the stories of those involved, what the organizations do, who they help, and how others can get involved.
What is most rewarding for you as a writer?
I really love when I can educate people on different cultures. I also love when people tell me they were laughing out loud at something I wrote. Or crying. I like to touch people’s emotions. I enjoy it when a piece just flows from me without thinking much. Still, one of my favorite pieces was one I worked really hard on. It was for a corporate client and I wrote it in Dr. Seuss style. It came as a surprise to my client, but, as they hired me to add more fun to their website, they published it without editing.
What would you tell aspiring writers today?
The first and most important thing is, JUST WRITE. Next, if you write, you are a writer. Start saying it out loud. When people ask you what you do, say “I am a writer.” It’s scary at first; do it anyway. Finally, I repeat Stephen King, “Kill your darlings.” Okay, that’s for when you get to editing, but it’s helped me.
How do you think advances in technology have changed the profession, either good or bad?
I’d say it’s good for the writing part — I can’t imagine working on a typewriter or writing long-hand, though I know some do. I also like that I can easily carry my iPad with a keyboard with me and stop anywhere, sit down for a coffee (or a refreshing juice in Bali) and write. This is especially valuable to me as I’m usually writing on location or an airplane.
Thanks for the adventures, Carole! Be sure to follow Carole on Twitter to see where she ends up next! I’d love to keep this series going, so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas or if you’d like to be interviewed! We women have to stick together, right?!?!? xoxo