We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashlyn Carter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashlyn, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Wow—what about “I don’t know what I’m doing?”
No, in seriousness, I definitely went into it thinking “I’m a business owner” and not “I’m a freelance writer” and that made all the difference. It’s a mindset thing. Even when putting myself in a business owner mindset felt more “mature” than I likely felt at the time with various freelance writing projects for clients and magazines and outlets on my desk, I started to shape my workflows, my processes, my system. I looked at my time differently. That was integral to starting Ashlyn Writes.
I also was—am still!—passionate about telling students to go find the YOU shaped gap in the market and fill it, and that mattered too. I don’t ascribe to the “follow your heart, the money will come” thing. Instead, I worked to see where my skillset and passions Venn diagram-overlapped with where there was a hole in service providing, and went after THAT market share, then built from there.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I actually feel like I have to work at being creative—and I’m proud of it. I think because it doesn’t always come super naturally, I obsess more over the process.
Here’s what I mean: I KNOW I’m not the most out-of-the-box, creative writer in the room at any given time. I know that. But I can out-study a lot of my “competition” so to speak, simply because I’m willing to do it. Unfortunately, I think in this digital creative space we’re in, it’s easy to get lazy AND make money from being a lazy creator … there’s a level of anonymity because so much work IS done online, and you can kinda say or be whomever you want to be, and produce a portfolio that may or may not have “inspired” work (shall we say 🙂 ) in it. I study and process—sometimes to the point of inaction, which is the downfall!—something and turn the idea over in my head a LOT before it ever comes out as a final product, whether as a YouTube video, a client piece of copy, or a branding photoshoot for my own business.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We love McDonough! I’d for sure start with some breakfast at Starshine’s Bakery, then hit up Story on the Square for some book hunting. We’d lap the square and grab coffee at Queen Bee, and then take a long walk around the pond and see some of the pretty old homes in the neighborhood nearby before digging into pizza at Crust and Craft. 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Aw, yes! 🙂
I started ballet at 5 years old at the Alabama Dance Theatre in Montgomery, Alabama—and from those tutu and tiara days through pointe shoes and blisters aplenty at age 18, that place molded and shaped me to be the woman I am today. ADT gets my shout out, for sure!
My ballet master Foye Dubose was like a second father to me, and my artistic director Kitty Seale was like mama #2: they pushed me, challenged me, held me to a high standard, wouldn’t let me quit, and ingrained a level of discipline and commitment in me that I see show up in my work ethic today.
Abby Grace Photography