It began as a jokey Facebook bio – “Jack of all trades, Master of Arts, in creative writing.” The quip was part of a larger content marketing overhaul; after all, when I first launched this blog site, I was a Bachelor of Arts in film journalism from Colorado State University Fort Collins, and the posts here reflected it. I wasn’t prepared for how comprehensive the professional creative writing program would be at the University of Denver when I declared my concentration in creative nonfiction there – I didn’t even comprehend what creative nonfiction was, misunderstanding it as a “journalistic” genre when, in fact, it’s more “literary” than that (but no less fact-based). As I practiced fiction, poetry, and drama in my core classes and learned how to translate those devices into my own memoirs and personal essays, I broadened my horizons beyond the limitations of critical film theory and happened upon the inspiration to forge an online community for all creative writers where we can celebrate the power of our literature to leave our readers more compassionate, empathic, humane, and enriched than we found them.
And so when I was struck with a rare bout of humor, “Jack of all trades, MA” evolved into “Jack Trades” in much the same way Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga” turned into a stage name for Lady Gaga.
After all, I plan to write about memoirs on my professional Facebook, personal essays on Instagram, short stories on Twitter, novels on LinkedIn, scripts on YouTube, poems on TikTok, and “revolutionary” works on WordPress’s very own Anchor, a podcast-hosting platform. All the while, these series will contribute to the output of nonfiction.
Speaking of Lady Gaga, a Warholian pop performance artist who embraces her creativity as though it’s life itself, isn’t it somewhat dystopian that content creators have to become their brands now in order to market their texts across the post-Zuckerberg multimedia landscape? According to late-stage capitalism, the difference between our “bodies” and our “bodies of work” is virtually indistinguishable.
Doesn’t it behoove us, then, to approach our own bodies with enough love to salvage the Hell-world around them?
And that’s who Jack Trades, Master of Arts, is.