Upstairs Community
—publishing your story

Hey, seeker! I’m Oana, the gal in charge of the Upstairs Community. Since we kicked off this project, I’ve been talking with dozens of people about the process of writing and publishing a story. It’s easier than it sounds.

If you read these lines, there’s a good chance you consider contributing by sharing a narrative that shaped your professional journey.


For this to happen, I feel it’s essential to know how things work behind the scene. Let me walk you through what you need to know to make it happen.

1. Choose a red thread, a topic, a direction

We experience a lot during our career, and some of the events heavily impact our becoming creative professionals. By creatives, I mean every guy and gal working as designers, photographers, illustrators, architects, ceramists, copywriters, engineers, entrepreneurs. You got it.

Here are some stories that are relevant for what we’re building here:

Choose an event of your life that obliged you to push the boundaries and overcome a difficult challenge that shaped your work, your beliefs, your way of playing the game.

Share your thoughts (it can be a paragraph) with me at oana@pixelgrade.com, and we’ll decide together how to go from there.

2. Write the first draft, the first ideas, the first lines

Start writing about the event that marked your career and does it as precisely as possible. Make sure you paint a full picture that allows readers to imagine where you’ve been, what happened, with whom you were, what was the drive behind your actions, how you felt.

The first draft is called so for a reason. It does not have to be flawless, neither it has to be the last draft, too. Its main role is to help you bring to the surface the most important pieces of the puzzle. Just write until you feel you said everything you wanted.

Send it over, and I’ll provide feedback and further guidance. Sometimes, this means you will need to rewrite some passages; other times, it involves rethinking the structure; most of the time, it implies asking for more details to avoid assumptions. Show, don’t tell, they say. It’s a fun process, trust me.

3. We do the editing and proofreading

Once you’re getting closer to the final version of your narrative, we’ll start the editing process when you’ve already included the feedback that amplifies the core message and makes the story better.

At first, I’ll edit and proofread the story to make sure it’s flawless in spelling, grammar, and information architecture. For instance, I’ll suggest a few headings that help the readers stick to the red thread and keeps them engaged with the lecture.

My teammate, Andrei, double-checks everything before getting the story for publishing. We use a plugin called Newsletter, through which we send the narratives. This one is on us!


That’s it! I’m looking forward to working with you and publishing your story in our growing community of creative professionals willing to speak the truth about their journey.

Stay kind,
—Oana