Features Week Day 3: Kate Braun

Kate is one of those writers I’ve always admired. She’s passionate and educated about her art and does what she loves every day because of that.


How long have you been writing?

As a hobbyist, around 12 years. Professionally, 6-7 years.

 

What inspired you to become a writer?

Honestly, reading. I believe that in order to be a good writer, you must first be a reader. For me, the love of books–both fiction and nonfiction–came naturally. I literally had my library card number memorized before my social security number. In a large way, my developing brain was shaped by the written word; it seemed like a natural progression to begin writing myself.

 

Are you published anywhere?

My primary work is as a technical writer & editor, and things like product copy or how-to guides don’t generally come with bylines. However, I have a major passion for finance education, and I write on the side for a financial independence website. Here are a few of my articles from this year:

Comments or questions on articles are always welcomed!

 

Which of your written pieces is your favorite?

Probably my article How to Start Investing Without Knowing Anything About the Stock Market. I really enjoyed writing this piece because a lot of people don’t have the faintest clue about investing, stocks, etc. But it’s actually super easy to get started, and it’s an amazingly powerful tool to grow your money.

It was Albert Einstein who said “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world,” and it’s so so true. When you’re young and poor, saving for retirement might be the last thing on your mind, but anything you put in now could easily triple or quadruple because you have time on your side.

Example: if you put in just $100 a month and do that for 30 years, with an average annual 8% rate of return, you’ll end up with $140,000 (from a total investment of only $36,000). Sometimes the stock market does even better than 8%, so the gains can multiply rapidly.

Obviously, the more you can invest, the better. But the point is, $100 a month is just around $3 a day. How often do we blow that on a coffee or snack without thinking? Switching perspective from short-term to long-term is the key here. There are so many people not saving anything at all. If my writing can get just one person to start saving and investing earlier than they might have otherwise, I’m happy.

 

In what genre do you write? 

I’m solidly a nonfiction writer. I’ve tried fiction, but creativity is not one of my strengths. In case I wasn’t enough of a nerd in my previous answer, my #1 favorite subject to write on is finance. I also truly enjoy academic writing, but I won’t accept freelance work from students looking to outsource their papers (it cheapens academia and doesn’t do them any favors), so there’s not much market demand for it outside of that.

Technical writing and general content writing are pretty satisfying for me too. If I can help a reader understand something they didn’t before, or accomplish something they need to do more efficiently, it’s a good day.

 

What is the most challenging part about being a writer in the genre you’ve chosen?

If anything, just finding credible and accurate sources when I need to research a topic. Sometimes I have to go pretty deep down the rabbit hole to find the original source of information or data.

Ultimately, though, it’s worth the effort, because especially when it comes to online writing, misinformation can spread like wildfire. All it takes is for one writer to not vet their source or to misconstrue some data. A million Facebook shares later, and people actually believe that a glass of red wine is as good as an hour in the gym. Clickable, but untrue.

 

What writer(s) do you look up to?

Anyone who can take a complex topic and make it interesting and accessible. I’m currently reading a book called Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, who also won the Nobel prize in economic science–talented guy. It’s about behavioral psychology and super well-written. He definitely fits my criteria above.

 

Do you have any funny stories about your writing adventures?

When I was 14 or 15, I joined this online writing forum where writers would discuss industry topics, debate issues, and critique each other’s work. I found the rules of grammar much more enjoyable than any teenager has a right to, so I became a resident volunteer editor on the site and later a moderator–keeping my actual age under wraps. People thought I was about 30. Nope…just a high-school sophomore breaking up arguments and fixing dangling modifiers for fun. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

Where can we find you on social media?

I have a website at kbeditorialservices.com, and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.


It takes a lot of passion and determination to write like Kate does. I’m truly thankful she was willing to let me in on some of her favorite aspects of doing that. Check out her writing if you’re ever in need of financial advice!

Yesterday’s Featured Artist: Brian Black

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