Writing, Editing, and Translating
I chose to be a writer when I was six years old. A couple of decades later, I’ve earned an MA in Dramaturgy (Writing for Theatre, Film, Radio, and TV). That was a good start.
Later, I’ve supported my family writing professionally wherever we’ve lived, the world over. In 2000, I became a member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada.
Several years back, I wrote a blog post about my Copywriting, as a rationale for a slogan I was proposing. Structured in ten-year increments, it’s a fun and quick read, that caused a minor furor on Bebee.
In 2018, I helped edit Guy Kawasaki‘s most personal book, along with other “beta testers”. It was a thrill to help distill Wise Guy into solid gold.
Media & Marketing
Specialists don’t thrive in small or immature markets. Take me.
Growing up in Western Balkans, I dabbled in theatre in primary school, cracked radio during high school, flirted with print journalism in college, immersed myself in film and television before graduation, and broke into marketing right after earning a degree. You cannot do that in mature markets – one of these industries just swallows you whole.
Along the way, I translated and interpreted a whole lot, especially for theatre & TV. Eventually, I mostly established myself as a film critic, both at home and abroad. And I kept writing on the side.
Those were just the first 15 years of my career. I thought it all a bit jumbled, but also a ton of fun. Then, a civil war broke out in my home country and, as we say, the Devil took the fun away.
Amidst the chaos, careers can freeze, but not creativity. I devised an idea which made fun of the local dictator. That PR campaign was carried by key local and international media, had sent that ruler into hiding for a week and remains to this day the best mnemonic for newsworthiness you’ll ever hear.
Ten years of exile followed. Lo and behold, it turns out one can build many careers – and expand perspectives – by simply changing markets.
My mileage in marketing proved useful in Asia and my PR savvy had intrigued NGOs. Also, I piqued the interest of international organizations – not as an expert, mind you. That unique UX as a refugee often informs my work to this day.
Development & Production
In North America, hard work will get you places, though not always those places you want. I played along and climbed the proverbial ladder fast.
Writing on the side, I made the quota and joined Professional Writers of Canada. But in my day job, I was managing things, not ideas. This had irked me for quite a while.
Until it hit me: in North-America, creativity relates to everything. It really matters – in business, in finance, in law – as much as it does in design, in arts, and in culture on my home turf, in Europe. West of the Atlantic, creativity is distributed.
This “democratic” view of talent powers America. Inventiveness plus effectiveness equals success. But the opposite also applies – talent minus substance equals nothing.
This meant I needed to learn hard numbers, budgets, tax rebates, funding & financing, licensing, optioning, bilateral agreements, export insurance, foreign markets, the de minimis rules. I had to master data, way before data became a thing.
So I did. Then I zoomed upward, from a low-level Marketing job to a post of a Project Director in TV Development, in just over three years.
A career in Business Affairs & Administration is a far cry from the promotional and media work of my youth. But it meant that when the UN was seeking experts to develop the capacity of civil servants in my war-torn home country, I was ready.
Training, Education, and Capacity Development
Starting upon my return to Serbia in 2002, by now I’ve built a lively career in training, education & capacity development. You can find out more details about my training work on its own page.
As an expert in Communication & Knowledge Management, I still take part in donor-funded reform projects, from time to time. But North America had taught me another lesson: to stay relevant, stay in touch with the market.
What else could I do or learn firsthand? What was missing from my global jigsaw puzzle? My favourite topic, long-term obsession, secret superpower… You’ve guessed it – IT.
I fell in love with ICT as a tween. Each summer, I would visit relatives in Zagreb, Croatia. My uncle’s office was equipped – wall to wall – with a super-computer. I’d always play with the perforated yellow tape and later with the punched cards (oh, yes, I have them still).
When the Cray-2 printed, on six sheets of continuous paper, my favourite cartoon character in ASCII-art, life-sized, I got hooked for life.
Remaining an early adopter, I’d always tried and tested tools or solutions built by techies for us, non-techies. My adoption timeline tends to raise eyebrows:
- 1986 Bought my 1st PC
- 1987 Used one of the first scanners in Europe
- 1993 Worked on a clunky (and expensive) laptop, in Asia
- 1996 Created multimedia on a classic Mac, in North America
- 2004 Started a blog, back in Europe
- 2006 Learned CMSs
- 2008 Pioneered live e-learning
- 2010 Embraced Open Source & the Cloud
- 2013 Started following AI
- 2016 Applied my first chatbots
- 2018 Learned the ins & outs of smartphone business
This type of interest attracts interest. For three dynamic years, I was the Senior Copywriter & Strategist of a large European ICT group. I wrote about aviation, artificial intelligence, crypto-currencies, the Cloud, data management, IT education, FinTech, gaming, logistics, mobility, telecommunications and more. It’s mind-boggling work, but it’s cool to have a CERN manual on the to-do list.
I truly wonder what comes next. Any ideas?
Stay tuned, for amusement. Or give me a call, for action.