Q: Isn’t EstherK.com just a personal website? Why do you need a FAQ?
A: EstherK is a personal website, yes. But I’m involved in so many things that I thought this might be a good place to talk about them as I develop the site. So stay tuned. More questions will be added as the need arises…
Q: What’s your deal? Are you a writer or an editor?
A: I’m a writer and editor. It’s been said that one can’t do both well, that the personal and intimate style of a writer is in direct conflict with the inclination to cut things down to fit in a certain amount of space and view the work objectively. But I’m seldom so in love with the pieces I submit that I’d say they were perfect; and just because I edit something (especially my own work) heavily and often doesn’t mean I don’t think the writer’s any good. They’re different skills, but I happen to do and enjoy them both.
A: As a freelancer, I’m lucky to be able to work with many publications without it being a conflict of interests. The senior editor position at PresenTense was a volunteer position, so I get paying gigs elsewhere. The Jewish Week was where my singles column ran from February of 2004 to June of 2008. And I have other clients–publications and Jewish organizations, notably the ROI Community–for whom I do various types of writing and editing. This is the freelance patchwork I engage in on a daily basis–hopefully the different pieces come together and enable me to pay my rent and feel like I’m accomplishing something in the world of Jewish journalism. And if I don’t, as someone recently suggested, I could probably just marry rich. But that’s not a solution to anything.
Q: Your blog is called My Urban Kvetch, but I can’t figure out which “urb” you’re from. Do you live in New York? Jerusalem? Los Angeles?
A: I know, it’s confusing. I was in New York for a long time, and in recent summers have begun spending extended time in Israel as I work more with the ROI Community leading up to and doing follow-up from the annual ROI Summits in Jerusalem. As for L.A., that’s a recent move. I’ll be there as of October 16th, trying life out on the West Coast, so look for posts about that “urb” pretty soon.
Q: You travel a lot…do you have a trust fund?
A: Sort of–I trust that the funds will come from somewhere. Kidding. Any travel I take is paid for by someone else, an organization, a client, etc. So if it looks like I’m a jetsetting vacationer, trust me, it’s all business. That said, I often try to extend my trip for a few days to indulge in some more leisurely activities after my responsibilities are done.
Q: I want you to speak to my organization or community. What do you talk about? What kinds of costs are involved?
A: I’ve spoken on everything from singles issues to gossip and the internet, and have conducted workshops for singles, including a basic improv workshop that functions as an effective icebreaker. I’ve also done some crash courses in Jewish blogging and in using blogging as part of marketing a product or organization. I do charge a speakers’ fee, and require either transportation or reimbursement for transportation to the event. But I’ve worked with all budgets, so no reasonable offer will be refused. Call my agent at jdatersanonymous at gmail dot com and she’ll set you up. Her name is Esther too…