Meet Jess Robson! Jess is a freelance writer and creative living (and loving) life on Canada’s West Coast. She is connection and community obsessed, spending most of her days finding great places to spend time working/not working (lol) around people living non-conventional, often entrepreneurship-fueled lives and contributing to the small business scene in Vancouver. Professionally, her word-filled work world provides human-centric (aka: sounds like YOU) copywriting solutions for individuals, entrepreneurs, small businesses and beyond; program development for learning experiences across every industry, course type, and learning outcome in the cosmos; and hand lettering services for wedding suites through to inspired words for the walls of the world. If there’s one thing that can sum up what she is here to do: it’s generate more real, raw, human expression in the world, all through words.
What rocks your bliss?
Living on the coast, and spending time by, in and on the water is true and complete bliss. I grew up essentially land locked, spending some summer vacations coming out to the coast to see family. The ocean always held something magical in it, with its epic expanse, constant motion, innate power and cheeky playfulness. There are few things I can simply sit and be still for hours on end doing, and watching the ocean is by and far at the top of that list.
Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day starts and ends slow. Early to rise with the first couple hours dedicated to myself: plopping down on my yoga block to meditate, working out the kinks with a couple yoga poses, a (too long) hot shower, and reliable kick-start-your-day eggs and kale breakfast. Follow that up with 3 hours of writing in a coffee shop/friend’s storefront/other engaging and people-watching available space. The afternoon hours: spent with people I love being with - whether we work, or not. The evening: as slow as the start of the day. Dinner with friends or a quiet night in, with much time to decompress from the day and drift off. Slow, steady, full.
When do you feel most creative and alive?
I am wildly inspired and creative between 8:00pm and midnight, when the world goes quiet and I’m left with the hum of my electric fireplace and the glow of my favorite IKEA ceiling light. When I know I have something to work on that requires me to tune in and turn up the creative juices, I reserve an evening writing sesh for it; with the inspiration of a full day in my back pocket, distilling out what I need/want to say happens with a different kind of ease. Situationally, I get insane waves of creative vitality when I am working—and often when simply sharing space—with people who are generating lives that thrill and excite them. Working with clients passionately connected to their budding business, helping thought leaders framework their IP into teachable lessons, or even planning a hand lettered piece for someone; the planning and preparation phase of work lights me on fire.
Share a huge goal you are rocking.
I’ve got a big hairy goal to live-letter at TED. I’ve had a couple opportunities to bring live-lettering to a couple local events, and the process of capturing golden nuggets, truthbombs, mic drop moments and straight up BIG ideas in the moment and in watercolor/ink/pencil/etc is one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had to date. Doing it for the minds that congregate at TED? #whoa.
If you could get on a plane, where are you going?
Truthfully, home. I’ve had a year of more travel and movement than I could have imagined. While it has been SO thrilling and SUCH a celebration of great people doing big and awesome things in their lives (read: 9 weddings and a healthy handful of client trips), I am craving grounding, roots, and reconnecting to the simple parts of life that I love so much. Like slow (and mostly naked) Sundays.
How do you handle setbacks?
With as much dang patience as I possibly can. Whether in my professional or my personal life, I know I can get impatient and want everything to happen in the now. And, I know I’ve been guilty for getting hard on myself when things go sideways or don’t happen the way I think/want them to. Now, my practice around setbacks and failures, regardless of the magnitude, is all about slowing down, being gentle with myself, and using the situation as a chance to get curious; to ask and answer some gut deep questions about what I really want, and how I want to move forward. So, setbacks become more a learning opportunity and less a shame-inducing self sabotage spiral (those suck something fierce).
How do you come home to yourself?
Movement, music and mindful time. I’m a chronic over-committer in recovery, and have a bad habit (that I am working on big time) of over committing my schedule so much that I drop all the ‘best Jess’ practices I know I need to be in to be whole and complete/wholly and completely myself. If I can create and honor scheduled time to move my body to good music, and craft my days so I’m not rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off, I am fully at home, fully me.
What are three ways you rock the Self love?
- Eat food my body likes. In my 30 years of living, I’ve had some time to find out what this vessel likes and needs, and what makes it slow down or simply stop working. An act of huge self love these days is giving it fuel that feels good when I eat AND in the long run.
- Mini me-trips. I recently took three days to head over to one of the island off BC’s mainland. Just a bed, a typewriter, and AWESOME shower and crappy wifi. Travel inspires me greatly and the resulting ‘me’ time of solo mini-excursions (even once a year) is a real self-indulgent indulgence.
- Sip bourbon. As much as I’m fueling myself with things that feel good (see note #1), sipping bourbon, going for a cocktail or warming up with a hot toddy by a fire is a reminder of the sweetness of the slow moments, often shared with great people my heart sings to spend time with. It’s as much an act of loving up on my people as it is SO filling of this blonde’s Self cup.