APEXer Katie Boland recently chatted with Ama Scriver, influencer and freelancer who loves all things drag queens, reality TV, bold lipstick and potato chips – in no particular order. Ama writes for Biz Bash, Style Democracy, The Greatist and many more.
1. What first attracted you to the industry?
“Originally when I had applied for schools, many moons ago, I had applied to journalism and public relations at Humber College. I remember I knew I wanted to write, but at that time, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to do that. As I was trying to decide which program to settle on, I looked at the career projections for the journalism industry with my guidance counselor and well, it didn’t look so hot. I ended up applying for the PR program and worked in the communications and events industry for ten years.
All my life, I’ve had a passion for the written word. While working in the communication and events industry gave me a thrill, I still wanted to write for myself. I started my own personal blog in 2013 and it sparked something in me, that I never felt with any full-time job I ever held. I’ve been a freelance journalist ever since 2016, and just signed with my book agent this summer. I never would have imagined that my career would come full circle, but here we are. It’s such a thrill when I have friends who I went to Humber College with pitching me on stories, and I get to actually turn them into printed pieces.”
2. What are some ways that you’ve grown your social media following and how have you kept them engaged?
“Just this year, I introduced a brand new newsletter called, To Be Perfectly Honest where I have been sharing some of my creative non-fiction writing, ahead of my book (which I’m working on).
Also, since a lot of my work centers around body positivity, I am in the midst of planning a body positivity and body liberation conference that will take place in April 2020.
Basically, I have been trying to write things that my audience wants to engage with and can relate to. I don’t think of myself as a content creator or an influencer in any sort of way, so I basically just try to produce content that my audience will enjoy via the publications I write for and also spark conversation/dialogue via my online platforms (specifically Twitter and Instagram) about issues that matter to our community.
I have found that building community via these channels and just being my honest, authentic self has helped grow my platforms and garner better engagement. Is there more I could be doing and do I think about this all the time: absolutely!! But the Internet can be exhausting sometimes, and I am just trying to do my best: real talk.”
3. How will advancements in technology affect your work?
“I really wish that Android would bring back call recording features because as a journalist, I carry around two phones now with me. One for all my interviews and one to record them on (my old iPhone) and to be honest, it is exhausting.
Also, I have loved the swipe up feature on Instagram which has really helped me promote my work as a journalist. I never knew how handy that simple action could be, but I have seen such a huge improvement since implementing it on my Instagram Stories.
I’m still searching for the perfect project management tool to help me stay organized for all my different stories, as I wasn’t a huge fan of Trello. So, if anyone has suggestions, hit me up in the DM’s. These types of things are so helpful for someone like me who has undiagnosed ADHD.”
4. Who are some of your favourite individuals to follow?
- Sam Dylan Finch – editor at Healthline
- Karen K. Ho – journalist
- Your Fat Friend – anonymous fat writer
- Nick Cho – owner of Wrecking Ball Coffee (SF) and activist
- Lauren Strapagiel – reporter at Buzzfeed
- Sarah Hagi – writer
5. Do you think it’s important to align yourself with organizations that represent you and your values?
“ABSOLUTELY. I think it is so important to work with organizations and other individuals whose values also align with mine. For example, I will be speaking at G Day Toronto on October 19th at the Artscape Daniels Launchpad on body image. I will be speaking on body image and self-esteem for teens who are girls or gender non-conforming. I think these conversations are SO important to have at this age, and something we should be having more of.
Most often when I’m approached by different organizations, I really consider who is this for and how does it benefit them? If I can help in any way to lend my voice to or signal boost conversations or organizations messaging happening around body image, fat positivity, feminism, queer issues, mental health stigma – just to name a few – I am here because at the end of the day, these issues are really important to me and I want to align myself with those issues. To be honest, that is only the tip of the iceberg.”
Read more 5 questions of people we find interesting.
Image credit: Maxwell Lander
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