You might have seen the poster in Barnes and Noble this spring touting the appearance of “The Positively Present Guide to Life” author Dani Dipirro ‘01. We asked her a few questions about a positive life.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your career?
A: After graduate school at CalState Fullerton [undergrad was at UMD), I started my career in corporate communications and marketing—in biotech and wealth management—but I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing. After three years of writing a blog, PositivelyPresent.com, I decided to leave my job and work on Positively Present [the book] full-time. I also started working in graphic design, first just for myself, later for clients via my studio, Twenty3. It was so exciting to create and illustrate the “2015 Every Day Matters Planner.” [The 2016 version is now available.]
Q: What inspired you to blog about positivity?
A: In 2009, I’d reached a low point in my life. I was unhappy with my job, my relationships, and where I was in my life. I knew I needed a change and, after much soul-searching, I decided that what I truly needed was to be more positive and more present, two things I struggled with quite a bit. Because I’d always been a writer, I decided to start a blog to share my experiences with trying to live more positively.
Q: How did the book come about?
A: About a year after I left my full-time job, I was contacted by a publisher to write my book. Receiving a contract was certainly one of the top highlights of my career.
Q: Did Holy Child help foster your writing, entrepreneurship, and overall positive attitude?
A: Absolutely! I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but in high school my writing really began to flourish. I remember being asked to keep a daily journal and that assignment really inspired me to write on a daily basis. I still have that journal; it’s fascinating to go back to it and reflect on where I was at that point in my life. I can also recall an assignment that involved writing a short story. I remember sharing it with my friends (in the senior lounge!) as I was writing it and loving the feeling of seeing others so excited to know how the story would end. I made lifelong friends at Holy Child and arrived at college feeling prepared for the academic workload and confident in my abilities to achieve my goals.
Q: Do you have any advice for young writers and entrepreneurs?
A: Read and write as much as possible. The more you do something, the better you become at it. Write every single day, even if it’s just a few sentences. And read, read, read. The more you read–and it doesn’t matter what you read, so long as you’re exposed to good writing–the better you become at writing. As for young entrepreneurs, my advice is to do something you love. Whatever you’re really passionate about, that’s what you should do because that’s where you’ll truly excel. Also, don’t listen to the haters. People will always doubt those who don’t follow the stereotypical career path. Ignore the people who don’t believe in you and surround yourself with encouraging, supportive people.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
A: I hope to write more books and continue expanding my design studio, Twenty3. I love developing and sharing inspirational content and designs and I look forward to exploring new ways to share my words and designs in the future.