Show Notes

Air Date: 6/9/2020

How to find your personal genius

Nick Davidson is a freelance writer based in the New Mexico high desert. After a master’s in writing and publishing at Emerson College, Nick began his journalism journey as an intern, fact-checker and then online editor at Outside magazine. After his stint at Outside, he broke out of the office for a bit of wandering and a few far-flung adventures, landing in the wide-open, muddy terrain of freelancing (emphasis on free).

The chances and choices of the particular paths he took led him to a variety of work in fact-checking, research, web production, editing, radio storytelling, reporting and writing. He has tended toward reporting stories that, in some way, funnel toward any of the many facets of an active outdoor lifestyle: adventure, environment, travel, science, gear, movement in nature. But at heart, the stories he aims to share are ultimately centered on people and our complex relationship to the world we inhabit, our ever-shifting understanding of that world, and the constant endeavor to find our place in it. Because there’s an overabundance of pessimism, destruction, and despair, he always tells stories that, in the weighing of the scales, dip toward optimism, creative problem solving, and inspiration.

Nick is also a martial artist, yogi (of sorts), and musician, all aspects of his life that have shaped him and his pursuit of good stories.


In the episode:

2:50 – Nick describes how a publishing course he took in college opened his eyes to non-fiction writing and inspired his career as a journalist.

7:21 – While Nick does use social media, he recommends focusing on making sure your work aligns with your ikigai, a Japanese concept meaning your reason for being.

11:57 – Nick describes the understanding writers have with editors about sharing their stories on social media.

13:30 – Rather than using numbers to measure success, Nick describes how he measures success by determining if the work he does aligns with the things he cares about.

17:15 – Nancy and Nick talk about the joy of finding the career path you enjoy every day and cannot imagine retiring from.

21:49 – To store his ideas, Nick simply uses a word processing app.

22:52 – Nick explains the difference between content marketing and storytelling.

30:38 – Nick talks about how risk-taking is necessary to your career and how you can learn from failure.

37:02 – Nick shares how he has grown his network organically by trying to uplift others.

38:43 – For freelance writers and editors, Nick recommends UPOD, a group of freelancers who share their experiences and learn from each other.



If you home in on your ikigai, your personal genius is another word for it, and if you do work that inhabits that, then I think your followers come naturally. They kind of come the way that moths tend to flutter to the brightest lights.” – Nick Davidson, freelance journalist



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Twitter: @NickGDavidson

Instagram: @nickgdavidson