More about me
(because you asked)
A storyteller's journey in 4 voices
I'm Paul Blumer. Brand-voice copywriter, SEO wizard, and conversion storyteller.
But I wasn't always this way.
It was my second year as a 7th grade English teacher in Richmond Public Schools... Teacher workday, meaning no kids in the building. Faculty meeting til noon and then our time was ours.
I directed my team to a nearby restaurant to discuss our project. Some of us raised a glass for our colleague's birthday.
Turned out someone sent an anonymous complaint to HR. We were technically within contract hours—so zero-tolerance kicked in and I was fired from teaching.
I was heartbroken. So were my 83 students.
After that I reprised my previous role as bar manager of a premier cocktail joint...until the owner sold it and I found myself working for a stranger.
I was getting to the end of my rope, feeling like an unwanted foster child.
So I fled to Iceland to spend a week soulsearching and absorbing the brilliance of my inner-circle friends and came to the LSD-colored conclusion that I had to quit the grind and write my way to freedom.
[Cue training montage]
When the dust settled, I emerged a brand voice copywriter, specializing in quillpowering the customer's journey.
What that means is I help creative businesses leverage their stories and expertise into compelling marketing content.
Strategy shapes that content into increasing value for customers, as they journey toward the treasure—which is worth so much more than the price.
My first "real" writing job was for Dictionary.com back in the early days of SEO, when the internet was a bottomless buffet of blackhat and bullshit.
My mission was to revise the entire Reference section for search engine optimization (SEO).
But the "articles" had no real value, no payoff or connection for the reader. They were just simplistic frill stuffed with keywords to rank high on Google and increase the likelihood some poor sap would accidentally click and fall through a rabbit-hole of obnoxious hard sell ads. I was good at it. But I hated it.
It wasn't genuine. Nothing was authentic. It was some dark ages shit.
And they were the good guys.
So I turned away from SEO copywriting to Master the Fine Art of fiction in San Francisco where I lived the gritty novelist dream of whiskey spice and leather jackets. (Story for another day.)
Fortunately for all of us, Google fixed the algorithm to filter out keyword rubbish and reward compelling storytelling instead. Ushering in the Age of the Customer's Journey.
So I returned. Bringing Quillpower to the hungry masses. Ready?
(a human roadmap)
Travels through space and time in ink on skin.
At various stages of my life I've marked major milestones with a tattoo. I'm hardly the first storyteller to do so.
I first called myself Writer during college in Ann Arbor where I inked a Third Eye on my writing wrist as a promise never to get a job where I couldn't have a wrist tattoo. (Don't ask about the job that made me cover it)
Fleeing heartbreak I once ran away to South America for three months, and one night on the Amazon I saw the Big Dipper and Southern Cross in the same sky, so I etched the epic journey forever on my forearm, rotating around the North Star on my inner elbone. That one hurt. The point is, no matter where I am, I'm never lost. (The stars also count a fibonacci tale but I'll spare you that rabbit hole.)
On the eve of graduating with a Master's in fiction from CCA in San Francisco, I emblazoned across my ribs a kestrel feather writing Your mind goes blank... as a charm against writer's block. (And the first words of my first finished novel.)
Anyone who's ever studied mixology would recognize Albert the Fernet Branca alligator dancing over my heart. After another heartbreak I fled to Richmond and mended myself with mixology and small-hours creativity. (Stay tuned for the forthcoming novel...)
And well, that's the end of the map. Here be monsters.
(i.e. life story)
Or how I got Rosetta stoned.
I'm Paul Blumer and I'm a wordaholic.
The one thing I'm not good at is writing about myself. It's so damn hard! You have to step outside yourself and pretend you don't already know what you're thinking. Yet every gig or publication demands "a brief bio" usually in third person. Y'know?
So fine, here goes:
The little boy grew bored of grownup conversation around grandma's dinner table and excused himself to explore the back room, pausing briefly to run a finger down the worn spines of a 1986 World Book set displayed in the hallway.
He rummaged around the closet among old vinyls and dusty books and found a small hardshell suitcase—which after a bit of jiggling with little boy fingers snapped open and revealed an old Smith Corona Coronet typewriter with a yellowed page still rolled in.
He peeked out the door down the hall and then sat crosslegged on the floor, plugging the thing in. It came to life with a whir, ready for anything.
He touched the keyboard and it snapped—
Those next few hours are lost to history...but that ticktock rhythm set in motion a staccato pulse that ferried the writer Paul D Blumer back and forth through space and time, studying character and voice and narrative with a typewriter named Rosetta and a thirst for human story that brought him here. To this moment. Quill poised, dripping gold—
And here you are.
Meet the mascots.
The other reason I work from home.
Say hello to Dudley and Digger—RVA famous goodboys known for their friendly fluffy tails, gentle kisses, and jumping in the river regardless of ice or flood.
Dudley was found in a Tennessee ditch. Digger was a stray poacher dog (we think) who lived with us in South Africa. We fell in love and brought him home.
They also enjoy meat and rolling in the grass.