You're a Communications Specialist. What are you working on right now? I'm currently in the final round of edits for my first book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, which is being published by Leafwood Publishers and will come out this fall. The book is about motherhood and social justice, two subjects I'm deeply invested in. The publishing process has been fascinating! We're close to deciding on a book cover and I couldn't be more tickled.
Where can we find you? Part of my work includes managing multiple social media accounts across multiple platforms. Most personally, you can find me at www.LeslieKlipsch.com and on my author Facebook page, as well as at The Creative Collective and on Mama Bear Dares Podcast.
Favorite part of your work: I find people endlessly fascinating and love interviewing them. This is true whether I'm interviewing someone for an article or a podcast episode. I love words and fully believe in the power of the pen. In everything I do, I aim to celebrate life and nudge the dial toward beauty and justice.
What are you currently reading? For fun: Alexander McCall Smith's take on Emma is on my nightstand. For research: Revolutionary Mothers by Carol Berkin. As part of my morning meditation / centering practice, I read poems by Mary Oliver and The Essential Rumi. I read a lot of nonfiction and just ordered Krista Tippett's new book Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living. I can't wait to get started!
Tell us about your background: I went to college to be a high school English teacher and taught for three years in Chicago. When I had my first son, I stopped teaching in a physical classroom, finished graduate school, and began teaching academic writing online. At the same time, I started freelancing as a writer and editor and have never looked back!
Dream assignment: I just got back from tackling my dream assignment!! I spent 11 days in Tanzania collecting stories, interviews, photos (I teamed up with my coworker Jennie Peakin), video, and information about life in rural Tanzania for an organization I contract for, Empower Tanzania. This NGO is doing incredible work to empower the people living in the most impoverished areas of this beautiful sub-Saharan country in East Africa. It was an incredible experience!
You're often wearing headphones. What's going on in there? Often I'm listening to and taking notes on the podcast I record twice a week, Mama Bear Dares with my co-host/sister-in-law. When I'm not concentrating on that I'm listening to Ingrid Michelson or Regina Spektor stations on Pandora or the musical Hamilton, which I am completely crazy about.
What are your long-term goals? Or short-term goals? Personal goals? I'm always aiming for growth. I want to continue to follow my curiosity and see what comes next. Professionally, I'd like to finish the new manuscript I'm working on, grow the podcast, and continue to be an advocate for coworking in the Quad Cities. Personally, I'd like to see my meditation practice grow and continue to delight in my husband and three kids.
You and Amy Sivertsen founded The Creative Collective. What drew you to coworking? I craved a healthier work / life balance. I worked from a home office for eight years and struggled with closing the door at the end of the day and focusing on my family and home. I love to work. I also love my family and believe it's important to nourish friendship and hobbies. By moving my desk to The Creative Collective, there is a cleaner line between work and home. I find I'm better able to concentrate, am more productive, and am enjoying a more balanced existence. It has changed my life!